SOUTH BEND — The South Bend Career Academy has been open for 3 weeks, but it's still looking for money to finish renovating its building. The area's newest charter school came up $4 million short of the nearly $14 million it needs to complete the project.
School administrators turned to the city for funding and the redevelopment commission approved a plan to give the academy $1.5 Million. That money is expected to come from a state bond to be repaid by airport TIF dollars over the next three years, plus interest.
TIF money (Tax Increment Finance) is tax dollars used for economic and capital projects in specific areas in the city. This isn't the first time the city has used TIF money for education and both the city and academy agree the investment will spur economic growth.
"There are certainly a number of jobs that go unfilled here because we lack trained people in certain areas," said South Bend Economic Development Director Don Inks.