Fuse Project plans to launch its after-school initiative program at Pillans Middle School this fall, according to a news release. This is the second year a Mobile County public middle school has had the opportunity, thanks to Fuse funding, to facilitate an alternative after-school program. 

The initiative was designed to help local middle school students experiencing difficulty adjusting to the structure of a normal school day. The program’s goal is to reduce the number of discipline infractions and out-of-school suspensions by providing an alternative pathway for success.

When they entered the after-school initiative, most students were failing at least one class. During the course of the school year, students showed improvement in their grades. These after-school programs are directly funded by Fuse Project through funds raised last June at the Dragon Boat charity festival.

Last year, Scarborough Middle School received the grant; its after-school program was held September 2014 to June 2015. All 23 students assigned to the program were successfully promoted to their next grade. Additionally, comparative discipline data found a reduction in both the number of infractions and the number of out-of-school suspension days as a direct result of this program. 

According to the data, Scarborough had a total of 1,797 disciplinary infractions and a total of 434 out–of-school suspension days in the 2013-2014 school year. In the following school year, 2014-2015, Scarborough had a total of 1,415 discipline infractions and a total of 341 out-of-school suspensions. 

In total, the number of discipline infractions fell 22 percent decline and the number of out-of-school suspensions fell 21 percent — all attributable to the program.

“We are thrilled at the success of the after-school initiative,” said Brie Zarzour, Fuse Project co-founder and treasurer. “Fuse Project invests in specific projects that directly impact children’s lives, and this is a prime example. We are excited that Scarborough Middle plans to continue this unique and impactful program, and that Fuse Project is able to bring the same program to Pillans Middle School with the funds raised by this year’s Dragon Boat Festival.”

In 2015, Fuse Project successfully raised more than $151,000 in conjunction with its second annual Dragon Boat Festival. The funds have been allotted to specific projects for underprivileged children in the Mobile County Public School System, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama, Prichard Preparatory School, Soccer4Life and the Fuse Camp at the Exploreum program. 

Since its formation in 2012, Fuse Project has raised a total of $300,000 in an effort to support numerous causes that promote health, fitness, education and social responsibility to benefit children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

According to Adrienne Golden, Fuse Project’s executive director, the nonprofit has plans to grow beyond the annual Dragon Boat Festival through a number of opportunities that will engage the community with more unique and creative fundraising events.

Commercial real estate moves
The 146,000-square-foot, former Coastal Door and Window Warehouse in Mobile was recently leased to regional trucking and warehousing company BR Williams Trucking LLC. Nathan Handmacher with Stirling Properties handled the lease.

TurnKey Vacation Rentals recently leased 600 square feet of office space at Wolf Bay Plaza in Orange Beach. Michael Wilson with White-Spunner Realty, Commercial Sales and Leasing, represented the landlord in the transaction

A 7,500-square-foot warehouse property located at 834 S. Conception St. was picked up by a local speculator for $375,000, according to Keith Vaughn of K.V. Properties. Plans for the property include renovation into business offices, according Vaughn.   

IMC Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine PC leased 8,259 square feet of office space at the corner of Airport Boulevard and Azalea Road. Nathan Handmacher with Stirling Properties handled the transaction.

Total Quality Logistics leased 9,756 square feet of office space at Spanish Fort Town Center. Adam Metcalfe worked for the tenant and Michael Wilson and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty, Commercial Sales and Leasing, worked for the landlord.

According to Geoff Lane and Jeremy Friedman of Bellator Real Estate and Development commercial division, $445,000 was recently spent by nonlocal investors on the 9,000-square-foot commercial property located at 6901 Moffatt Road in Mobile. Roughly 6,000-square-feet of space is currently leased by Sherwin Williams. Development plans for the remaining 3,000 square feet is currently unknown.     

Prepaid cellular service provider Cricket Wireless has leased the former Radio Shack retail space fronting the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 1095 Industrial Parkway in Saraland. Andrew Dickman with Stirling Properties managed the lease.

A 70,000-square-foot medical office property located at 6144 Airport Blvd. recently sold for $23.5 million, according to Gavin Bender Sr. with the Bender Real Estate Group. Bender worked for the investment group that bought the building. Mobile Surgery Center is currently one of the main tenants at the office complex.   

Byrne pays visit to Quality Filters  
Last Friday, Oct. 2, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne toured Quality Filters Inc. (QFI), an air filter manufacturing facility in Robertsdale, for National Manufacturing Day. Accompanying Byrne were four members of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s  Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership  (IMCP) program.

According to its website, the IMCP encourages communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies that will strengthen their competitive edge for attracting global manufacturing and supply chain investments. Through the IMCP, the federal government coordinates grants to regional communities across the country, rewarding recognized best-practice efforts in strategic manufacturing development.   

Byrne toured the facilities and held a meet-and-greet with company employees as a sign of support for local companies. Locally owned QFI has been in business for 34 years and is the largest air filter manufacturing facility in the state. The company also exclusively produces the Lysol Air Filter for national distribution.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about their business and answer questions from employees. More than 250,000 Alabamians work in the manufacturing industry across the state and I am proud to represent manufacturing,” Byrne said in a prepared statement.