Allah Has Offered Unlimited Return on Investment – Will You Grab His Offer?
Building FEA 2.0 Together
Our dear brothers and sisters, please join us in our effort to purchase a new building for the Folsom Educational Academy (FEA).
As we look around the Sacramento Valley area, it is clear the Muslim population is growing by leaps and bounds. It is imperative that institutions such as masaajid and schools grow in parallel. Our institutions need to keep pace with demand.
This is our opportunity to take charge of our future trajectory and build a strong, wholesome community.
Please support the school and donate to the best of your ability!
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.
Kids & Youth Playgrounds
Fostering a love for learning and playing in our youth.
Investing in our future leaders and learners.
Expand Masjid Activity Areas
More space for spiritual growth and community engagement.
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.
Overflow into fire lane
Land: 1.87 Acres
Land: 5-7 Acres
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.