Community Celebrates Grand Opening at Ivy Academy

Kathy Smith
Release Date
Apr 16, 2015

USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode today joined Ivy Academy Director Angie Markum in celebrating the grand opening of Ivy Academy and USDA’s commitment to revitalize rural America.

“Investing in education creates Ladders of Opportunity for the students and benefits the entire community,” said Goode.  “As President Obama has stated, ꞌA child’s course in life should be determined not by the zip code she’s born in, but by the strength of her work ethic and the scope of her dreams.ꞌ”

Ivy Academy used $1.8 million in Rural Development Community Facility loans to purchase and renovate an existing building to meet the educational needs of their students adding eleven classrooms, a library, cafeteria, administrative space, and meet state fire and safety codes.  The new facilities will help environmental charter school Ivy Academy achieve their mission to empower students to cultivate intellectual curiosity, act responsibly, practice lifelong wellness, treat others respectfully, and build a sustainable world for future generations.

The Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.

Others participating in the event included Senator Lamar Alexander Field Representative Jeff Lewis, Senator Bob Corker Field Representative Claire McVay, and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann Field Representative Michelle Harstine.

USDA Rural Development is moving investments to rural America with housing, business and infrastructure loans and grants to create jobs and strengthen rural economies with an emphasis to assist areas of persistent poverty.  Since 2009, the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 230 communities in all 95 counties of Tennessee, investing more than $5.4 Billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Southeast Tennessee contact the Chattanooga Area Office at 423.756.2239, or 800-342-3149 x 1492. Visit us online at