Christ the King College Preparatory School will be among those on the West Side keeping its eye on Washington D.C. on Thursday.
The 100,000 sq. ft., $28 million facility at 5088 W. Jackson in Austin was funded through loans provided by Park National Bank of Oak Park, which was seized by federal regulators in October.
It was a four-part commitment to the school that included a $22 million, 30-year zero percent interest loan for the building and a $2 million credit line for operating expenses. With U.S. Bank as Park National’s new owner, there is uncertainty among West Siders if U.S. Bank will honor those commitments. A U.S. House subcommittee hearing will take place Thursday in Washington D.C. titled – The Condition of Financial Institutions: Examining the Failure and Seizure of an American Bank. A group of citizens and community activists from the West Side are traveling to Washington for the hearing.
Rev. Christopher Devron, president of Christ the King, will meet with U.S. Bank officials to discuss the commitments made to the school by Mike Kelly, Park National’s former owner. The school is looking to raise $17 million to close its current budget hole. The campus costs $3.4 million annually to maintain. Funding also comes from private donors and fund-raising programs.
“Right now, we don’t know what U.S. Bank is going to do about the loans, but we hope they will agree to honor the arrangement we made with Park National,” he said. There is no deadline for any announcements to be made though. Right now, we have to meet with them and see what comes from it.
“There were a lot of organizations on the West Side that Park National has granted loans to, including Bethel New Life,” Devron added, “but I think [Christ the King] had the largest financial commitment from them prior to the takeover. In the next few weeks, we should have a better idea of where we stand.”