Bradenton school owner facing lawsuits applies for charter school

7:18 PM, Aug 11, 2011   |    comments
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Bradenton, Florida - Built as a storage facility, the building at 7710 Cortez Road is being turned into what may be used as a school. The storage facility now has half a dozen classrooms and bathrooms for students up to 12th grade. The new school is the plan of Bradenton business man Hendrik Lamprecht. He's applied for a charter school with the Manatee County school district.

"He's not a man who is an educator never been a teacher if he's suppose to be finance man his proven track record shows he's not reliable ," says Cheryl Gaynor, she's one of 13 teachers suing Lamprecht for 10's of thousands of dollars in back pay from their teaching days at the now foreclosed Bradenton Prep Academy. Gaynor says Lamprecht, who served as the school's CEO, owes her close to "$25,000."

Ten News has been following Lamprecht's financial troubles since last year. It began when Bradenton Prep Academy hired him to help the school fix its finances. Except former teachers like Gaynor say he made the problems worst. Bradenton Prep Academy foreclosed last summer. Lamprecht reportedly owed $1,000,000 in federal payroll taxes according to the IRS. He faced code enforcement and permitting issues, law suits from teachers, an investor, and parents for tuition refunds and playing football players over the age limit.

Gaynor says, "I think he's still trying to play a game and try to get as much money as he can from Manatee County or Florida."

If approved by the Manatee County School Board, Lamprecht will open The Pembridge Prep, Inc Charter School in August 2012.  This school would be for low performing students using a virtual school curriculum. Lamprecht would receive between $3,869 per student from state taxpayers. If approved, Lamprecht's projects having more than 900 students enrolled by the 5th year.

The charter application says Lamprecht's business Monolex USA Trading Limited will pay for all the building and development costs for the new school. The expenses break down like this according to the charter application: Rental, $13,500 per month, plus $665,000 for additional facilities, curriculum material and technology enhancement. The 665-thousand dollars from Monolex would also pay for $100,000 in renovations of a facility described as "church property" but an address is not indicated. He plans to use grand funding where available.

Manatee County has 10 charter schools and the district has received three charter applications for 2012. The district has until October first to review the application but an extension may be issued if the applicant needs one.

Manatee school superintendent Tim McGonegal says, "We're pro charter but it's not easy to get a charter you have to bring a high quality application."

McGonegal says a committee closely reviews all charter school applications...from its curriculum and budget to the charter's board and leadership. "The key leadership in the organization do they have the management leadership ability to run an organization like this successfully pay teachers pay the IRS and fulfill their commitment," says McGonegal.

Ten News spoke with Hendrik Lamprecht over the telephone. He said the earliest he can speak with Ten News on camera would be the week of August 22nd. Even then he says he'll only talk about the charter school he wants to open up and not about any pending litigation. But the last time we set up a meeting with Lamprecht it did not go well.

In July of last year our photojournalist went to Bradenton Prep for a 10 a.m. scheduled interview Lamprecht was not happy to see us. The photographer says Lamprecht came up from behind and hit him over the head. Lamprecht apologized, but did not keep the interview. Ten News will try again later this month.

Isabel Mascarenas

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