(04/07/08) BROOKLYN &舑; Civic Builders, a non-profit group that helps find space for and build charter schools, received an $8.3 million grant from the U.S. government Monday.

The group has built schools in both New York City and Newark, N.J. One of its successful schools is the Excellence Charter School in Bedford-Stuyvesant. That facility was built in an abandoned building on Patchen Avenue. It now has an enrollment of about 600 students.

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein says building and finding space for charter schools is an important part of the city&舗;s future.

Part of the future plans for Civic Builders is the conversion of an old ice cream factory into a new charter school on Waverly Avenue.

Civic Builders