Angels Work Miracle for Imago Dei School to buy $2.1 Million Downtown Tucson Building

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Imago Dei Middle School, 55 N 6th Ave., Tucson, AZ

Angel Charity for Children raised $600,000 for Imago Dei Middle School’s down payment on its Downtown Tucson building

TUCSON, Arizona — Miracles do happen, as was demonstrated recently in Tucson when Imago Dei Middle School was able to purchase the building it rented in Downtown Tucson.  Located at 55 N. 6th Ave. in Tucson, Imago Dei was able to purchase the building from Great Western Associates, LLLP of Phoenix (Gregory, James, Robert & Richard Melikian, general partners) for $2.1 million ($99.50 PSF), but not without some help from Angels.

The 21,103-square-foot, office building, built in 1953, will be the permanent home for Imago Dei which serves children of diverse faiths, races, cultures, and cognitive profiles from low-income families.

Imago Dei, established in 2005, serves about 80 boys and girls in the 5th through 8th grades in this location, and is modeled after the Epiphany School in Dorchester, MA. It is accredited through the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools.

100% of the students attending Imago Dei Middle School are from families that qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced School Lunch program which means a family of two may have income of no more than $29,471 per year. The demographic breakdown of the school is 65.3% Latino, 23.6% African/African American, 4.2% Native American, 1.4% Caucasian and 5.5% other. Nearly half the students enter school as English Language Learners. Low income children of similar demographics have a nearly 70% high school dropout rate.

Imago Dei provides a comprehensive curriculum and support services including the following:

  • Quality academic, physical, social, and spiritual education
  • Individualized support, nurturing each child’s development and identity
  • An extended school day (10 hours), week (5 ½ days) and year (11 months)
  • Small classes for specialized instruction (teaching ratio of 1 to 10)
  • Tuition-free education
  • Opportunities for strong parental involvement

The focus is on educating the whole child, never giving up on a child and breaking cycles of poverty. The criterion for admission is based on students qualifying for the National School Lunch Program, and the cost of tuition is approximately $17,000 per year per child. It operates as a tuition-free school due to the economic limitations of students’ families; and therefore, donor support is essential for its success.

Since 1983, Angel Charity for Children has helped over 1 million children in Pima County have a better life. In 2016, Imago Dei Middle School was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the Angels and raised $600,000 to use as a down payment to purchase this building.

Imago Dei posted to their website in February, “We are so grateful to have been chosen a 2016 Angel Charity for Children, Inc, beneficiary! Many thanks for all the prayers and well wishes as we are on our way to having a permanent school home. Thank you Angels for blessing us!”

Isaac Figueroa, Office and Investment Specialist with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, and a board member of Imago Dei Middle School, handled the transaction.

“It is truly a great school and deserving of all the generous, heartfelt community support. The remainder of the price as established by an independent appraisal, will be carried back by the seller,” said Figueroa. “By funding this request, Angel Charity for Children made it possible for the school to exercise its option to purchase this ideal location for students’ access via public transportation being located directly across from the Ronstadt Transit Center, instead of having to relocate this successful school.”

For more information, Figueroa can be reached at 520.546.2743.

To learn more, see RED Comp #4748.