ISUS Institute of Construction Technology


DAYTON — ISUS, an award-winning charter school, will suspend its operations for the 2012-13 school year to address its business plan and a $2 million debt.

“We need to develop a new economic model that will provide a more predictable cash flow,” said U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice, vice chairman of the ISUS trustees. “We simply cannot operate next year.”

The school has been hit hard by the recession and housing crisis, relying heavily on money from the sale of houses built by students as well as state and federal funds.

ISUS, or Improved Solutions for Urban Systems, serves students ages 16 to 22 who have previously dropped out of school; about 70 percent have had brushes with the law.

ISUS students can earn high school diplomas, college credits and industry credentials in construction, health care or manufacturing...

The school enrolled 300 at its peak in years past, but was down to fewer than 200 students for 2011-12.

State and federal grants and earmarks also provided funding for ISUS.

“We used to get a great many grants but, because of cash flow, we have fallen behind our debt obligation,” Rice said, “which then makes us less attractive for grants.”

This winter, foreclosure proceedings began on the ISUS building at 140 N. Keowee St., and a receiver was appointed to oversee the school’s business.

Rice said the foreclosure had not gone through as of Wednesday, but the building’s sale could help toward the school’s $2 million debt...

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