Folsom Educational Academy | Islamic School

Empower the Growth of Our Muslim Community:
Join MCF/FEA 2.0 Expansion

Your generous donation can help our community move to a bigger home to gather, worship, and learn together.

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* eligible for corporate matching

:إذا مات ابنُ آدم انقطع عملُه إلا من ثلاثٍ
صدقة جارية، أوعلم يُنتفع به، أو ولد صالح يدعو له

"When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased)."

~ Muslim

Current Challenges

Crowded Classrooms

Our award-winning, full-time Islamic School, Folsom Educational Academy, serves children in grades PreK-8th and is facing serious overcrowding. Families are being turned away and could spend years on a waiting list with no guarantee their child will be able to attend. Additionally, our Summer School and Sunday School programs have run out of space and can no longer provide the quality education our children deserve. Your generous support can help change that.

Logistics Drive Programs

It is no secret that for a school or masjid, the logistics and available space dictate what programs can be offered.  Our PTO, staff, and parent body have a wealth of experience in managing and offering a wide variety of programs. But due to current space constraints, we are not able to fully leverage the potential of our school community. 

Shared Space Constraints

Currently, MCF uses FEA school space for some programs and vice versa. This takes a high level of coordination and results in a less-than-ideal situation to have high quality programs.   

Parking Problems

Parking is a major issue at the school.  With very limited spaces available and a student body that has grown 2-fold in 3 years, this is a daily struggle.

Lack of Play Area

Students have no suitable field and end up playing in the parking lot with cones set for safety.  A playground would be a luxury but at this point, they would be very happy just to have a dedicated play area to unwind from classes, to stretch, to run around, and play sports!

We need your support for the MCF/FEA 2.0 Expansion Fund to address these challenges and create a more inclusive and welcoming space for all community members.

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Vision for FEA 2.0

Produce students in a safe, comfortable, Islamic environment that are high-performing citizens of society. 

With expanded space, FEA school staff, administration, and the PTO will have the ways and means to offer the support that’s needed to get there.  

Students will have the space to grow and pursue their interests.  They will have lab rooms, dedicated play areas, lunch areas, and personal space.  

Staff will have the space to work on new programs and collaborate with one another.

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Kids & Youth Playgrounds

Fostering a love for learning and playing in our youth.

Expand School

Investing in our future leaders and learners.

Expand Masjid Activity Areas

More space for spiritual growth and community engagement.

Sufficient Parking

Eliminating parking concerns and facilitating easy access to our community space.

Multi-Purpose Room + Sisters Areas

Creating a space for various activities and better inclusivity for all members.

Adult Classes & Dawah Programs

Providing opportunities for continued learning and community outreach.

FEA 1.0

FEA KG-8th, 6761 sq ft
Capacity: 140
Prayer hall capacity 400
Limited space
Overflow into fire lane
Parking: 84 spots
Building: ~16,000 sq ft
Land: 1.87 Acres

FEA 2.0

FEA KG-12th, 40,000 sq ft
Capacity: 400+
Prayer hall capacity 1000+ and larger MPR/Gym
Youth room, soccer field, basketball court, and large play areas
Parking: 500 spots
Building: 60,000+ sq ft
Land: 5-7 Acres

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is MCF 2.0?

MCF 2.0 is the name given to the vision for a new, larger facility and space which can accommodate our community’s growing needs for a bigger masjid and Islamic school. The current school and masjid at 381/391 S. Lexington Drive are considered MCF 1.0, and the 2.0 version denotes the next phase and chapter for this organization.

What stage of the process is MCF 2.0 at currently?

Three years ago, MCF’s Joint Board created an all-volunteer Real Estate Committee to identify, assess, and evaluate all properties located either within Folsom, or in nearby areas, which would be suitable for MCF’s expansion needs.

After an extensive search process in which multiple properties were evaluated, the Real Estate Committee has determined a potential future site in Folsom to be the most suitable site for MCF’s expansion, and a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) has been submitted.

Has MCF already purchased a building?

No. Currently, MCF’s Joint Board has simply placed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) to purchase a building. That LOI, has neither been accepted nor rejected, however, the Joint Board feels that it is important for the community to be apprised of the current situation and provide valuable feedback.

Is there a deadline by when the seller of the potential future site must respond to MCF’s purchase offer?

No. The offer submitted by MCF did not put a deadline by when the seller must respond. It provides MCF’s Joint Board, Real Estate Committee, and Finance Committee more time to do their due diligence regarding logistics surrounding the property purchase.

Is the potential future site location further away for most Folsom families?

Not necessarily. The potential future site is in Folsom and approximately 10 minutes away (less than 4 miles) from MCF’s current location. While the potential future site may be further away from families in Folsom Ranch and El Dorado Hills, it will be a shorter drive for families closer to the western side of Folsom as well as increased accessibility for families living in Rancho Cordova, Orangevale, and Granite Bay.

Due to MCF and FEA’s specific zoning and unique space requirements, in addition to budgetary constraints, properties which fit all criteria are extremely limited. For this reason, the possibility of finding a new facility extremely close to the current one is very unlikely. Taking all the above factors into consideration, it is the Joint Board’s belief that the potential future site is in an acceptable location.

Why do we need to buy a larger property?

MCF’s vision for the future includes a masjid catering to 1000+ community members and an Islamic school for children in grades KG through 12th. A bottom-up analysis was done of what is required to support the MCF community into the next decade and the Real Estate Committee found that at least 60,000 sqft of building space and 5-7 acres of land with ample parking was needed. The potential future site meets these requirements in Folsom.

The present facilities at 381 and 391 S. Lexington Drive have reached their limit on capacity. Due to a lack of space, Masjid events such as Jummah, family nights, and youth activities overflow into the emergency fire lane. The parking lot is woefully inadequate and were it not for the generosity of the community at Lakeside Church, MCF would not have enough parking for Jummah or any other larger events. Additionally, FEA’s space is completely maxed out, and the waiting list of students gets larger every year. Families are being told that the only Islamic school in the area simply does not have space for their child.

Has MCF explored possible expansion solutions at 381/391 S. Lexington?

Yes. Over the past few years, both MCF and FEA’s administrations have worked diligently to not only efficiently use the available space, but to also explore possible options to maximize our usage of the current site. Due to zoning and parking constraints, we are unable to construct extra floors on top of the current buildings. Some examples of improvements include usage of the fire lane during Jumma and Tarawih prayers, utilizing Lakeside Church parking, and sharing of spaces between MCF and FEA. We split the men’s musallah for all the events; the lack of a big MPR room disrupts the men’s prayer area that serves as a seating area for family nights. Unfortunately, we have outgrown these improvements and a new space is urgently needed.

If FEA is running out of space, why can’t FEA just move to a larger building? Why does MCF have to move also?

Unfortunately, it is not only FEA which is running out of space. Both FEA and MCF have reached the limits of possible growth at 381 and 391 S. Lexington Dr. and in order for both organizations to continue to serve the needs of the growing Folsom community, they must expand.

While it may seem that MCF and FEA are two completely independent organizations, the truth is that both rely heavily on the other to maximize the usage of resources, minimize expenses, and most importantly, serve the same community: all of the Muslims families of Folsom. Separating the masjid and the school may seem like a tempting short-term solution, however this would be fraught with its own challenges, and in the long-term create not only a fractured community but also huge financial inefficiencies and a doubled burden on donors.

Currently, MCF and FEA benefit from economies of scale in that they both share indoor facilities such as a kitchen, multi-purpose room, play areas, and more. Additionally, both share the same parking lot.

In the MCF 2.0 outline, the masjid and school would benefit from sharing even more areas such as classrooms, babysitting rooms, a cafeteria, an auditorium, administrative areas, and playgrounds and sports fields. By sharing the same facilities, both organizations would be able to reduce their overhead and be able to provide world-class services to the entire community.

When would the MCF community transition to the potential future site?

While the Joint Board would like to complete the full transition to the new property as soon as possible, it would depend on the speed by which tenant improvements that are necessary would be completed. Due to the time required for plan design and review, and obtaining city approval/permits, the current estimate is somewhere between 18-36 months.

Financial Questions

Will we as a community be able to afford this project? How can we improve our fundraising and what concrete steps can we take to achieve our annual financial goals?

Insha’Allah, the MCF community can afford this project. The MCF Finance Committee has created fundraising projections which consider various factors such as historical donation levels, future community growth predictions, and increased fundraising potential when attempting to reach an annual target.

Additionally, the MCF Finance Committee is working on novel and creative ways to not only increase the number of active donors, but also the average donation per family. It is the belief of the MCF Joint Board that collectively these efforts will result in the community being able to afford the MCF 2.0 project.

Should MCF begin charging members a monthly fee to help raise funds?

For over a decade, MCF has not charged a membership fee. Other masajid that do charge fees, typically charge a nominal amount, usually no more than $25–$100/year. While every dollar given would help, currently the MCF Finance Committee is focused more on raising larger dollar amounts while at the same time making sure that all fundraising is strictly voluntary and not sourced from a mandatory fee.

What will happen with 381/391 S. Lexington Drive? Are we allowed to sell a masjid?

The financial model created by the MCF Finance Committee, and approved unanimously by the MCF Joint Board after consultation with Mufti Aamir and the Fiqh committee, factors in the fact that MCF will sell both 381 and 391 S. Lexington Drive properties within four years after completing the purchase of the potential future site.

Because MCF does not have the resources to operate both the potential future site and 381/391 S. Lexington over the long-term, an emphasis will be placed on selling the current site as soon as the transition to the potential future site is complete.

Will MCF be able to rent out unused portions of the potential future site? Will finding tenants be difficult and what kind of investment/rent do you expect?

Yes. In the initial 18-24 months, the building’s existing data center and its access space, which comprises approximately 20% of the total square footage, would be leased to the current seller at fair market value. In the future, the MCF Joint Board plans to lease other unused portions of the building to entities requiring office space or other commercial use.

MCF’s administration believes that there may be significant initial challenges and costs associated with finding and maintaining long-term tenancy of unused building spaces. Because the potential future site is classified as “flex” space due to its high ceilings and open floor plan, converting portions of the building into leasable office space may require substantial expense.

That concern however is partially mitigated by the belief that a large Islamic center with an adjacent Islamic school, would draw highly targeted traffic, essentially making the potential future site a hub for Muslims in the Folsom region and an attractive location for Muslim small businesses owners to lease building space. Actual rent rates would depend upon fair market value and other variables that are outside the scope of this FAQ.

Why is MCF using University Islamic Financial (UIF) versus any other Islamic bank such as Guidance Lending, etc.?

Guidance does not do commercial loans. MCF has a strong working relationship and history with UIF because UIF provided a loan to purchase 381 S. Lexington Drive in 2013 and MCF paid it back in full and earlier than expected.

Is the commercial loan provided by UIF Shariah compliant?

Yes, the commercial loan provided by UIF is Shariah compliant. The Shariah Supervisory Board (SSB) for UIF Corporation is an independent third party which reviews all related documents, statements, and processes related to UIF’s Commercial Partnership Lending program and expresses an opinion annually on the Shariah compliance of all transactions conducted by UIF. The SSB has issued a Certificate of Shariah Accreditation declaring the commercial loan product to be Shariah compliant.

What are MCF administration’s largest concern(s) regarding MCF 2.0?

The largest concern is that due to the size of this project, MCF requires a solid financial plan along with strong, decisive leadership for the next ten years or possibly even longer. Consistent fundraising will be needed over multiple years and MCF board members along with community members will need to volunteer their time and energy to make sure the project stays on track.

What are the risks of this project?

MCF 2.0 will require full financial commitment from the community. One of the major challenges of the project is to have a sustainable fundraising program year over year until the full amount is paid. With the possibility of an economic slowdown on the horizon, job growth in the area may be negatively impacted, which may result in a slower growth rate, or even a decline in the population of Muslims in the Folsom area. Growth of the community and its ability to contribute at a higher rate for a sustained period of time may both be challenges for the project.

How do you mitigate the risks listed above?

MCF’s financial model already assumes a moderate growth rate for the community year over year. Additionally, the Joint Board believes that the new center will have appeal outside of Folsom due to its proximity to other adjacent cities. Fundraising can extend to these other communities in Rancho Cordova, Granite Bay, Roseville, Davis and Sacramento and help increase the total donations collected annually.

Additionally, MCF has not engaged in fundraising outside of the Sacramento area. MCF 2.0’s vision and forward-seeing plan may also attract donations from those outside the “core” Folsom community. Also, MCF will continue to take advantage of various federal and state grants available to support tenant improvements and partially reduce the reliance on donations.

I have a question that was not answered in this FAQ. What should I do?

Please email [email protected] with your question and/or comments. MCF’s Joint Board welcomes all feedback and is looking forward to transparently engaging with the community regarding any and all concerns or questions.

Help us reach our fundraising goal!

Thank you for your support and generosity, and let’s build MCF 2.0 together.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the FEA 2.0 Expansion, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are happy to provide more information and answer any questions you may have about our efforts to build a new home for the Muslim Community of Folsom.

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