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Monday, April 11, 2016

“HE’S NOT MAKING ANY MONEY OFF THIS DEAL IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM” Miss Fortune Analyzes Grand Traverse Academy Superintendent's Claim; How Much Money Could Mark Noss And His Partners Make? (Hint: Lots!)

Miss Fortune has determined that Mark Noss, and his MDN Development partners, could make a seven-figure return on the construction, rental and February 1, 2019 sale of the new Grand Traverse Academy expansion. 

And if the school cannot scrape together the money to pay the $3.9 million dollar asking price at that one-time, one-time only, February 1, 2019 date, it will pay an estimated $8.5 million dollars in monthly payments over the lease's 20-year term.

So was the "school project" described by Brad Habermehl in a series of fundraising emails really a plan to privately fund the Grand Traverse Academy expansion?  

Who else was solicited to lend or invest money, and who approached them?

In addition to Habermehl, Ingersoll and Bruce Harger, who really were the other two investors poised to invest money?

While we still don't know the private financial details behind the Grand Traverse Academy's expansion, in a holding pattern while it waits for the Michigan Department of Construction Codes to issue a building permit, Miss Fortune has a building permit that could reveal the new building's current construction budget.

Using the nationally-recognized Turner Construction Company's cost index, which measures cost increases/decreases in the non-residential building construction market in the United States, and the proposed building's 2005 building permit cost, I was able to roughly calculate Comstock Construction's original budget and the company's likely 2015 cost estimate.

Here's a dirty little secret: Michigan's building permit fee schedule allows you to determine the building cost by the permit fee. 

The fee for the 2005 permit pulled by Comstock Construction on behalf of the Grand Traverse Academy for a 27,910 square foot building (shown at left) was $5,299. 

I obtained the permit directly from Michigan's Department of Construction Codes via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Using the fee amount, and Michigan's Building Permit Fee schedule, I estimate the construction cost for 2005 was $1,850,000. 

Utilizing the Turner cost index percentage increase/decrease construction industry data, the Grand Traverse Academy's 2015 expansion estimate comes in just under $2.5 million dollars — or $1.4 million dollars less than the agreed upon $3.9 million dollar purchase price. 

Although I requested detailed financial information about the expansion from the Grand Traverse Academy board in a recent Freedom of Information Act, my request was denied.

Instead, I was told the information, including “building bid specifications/package, all bids received, project budgets” and “final budget and construction schedule”, were not public records.

I'd put my "personal assets" on the line and take a risk if my reward included seven figures, especially with the taxpayers on the hook for making those payments.

So tell me again how Noss and his MDN Development, with a projected construction budget of $2.5 million, won't make be making money from this deal if he sells the building for $3.9 million.

Better yet, show me where the money came from, where it's going, and who will profit.

Until then, keep your PR platitudes to yourself!


  1. Get these bodacious criminals in jail. Let them go into the prison systems and use their vision therapy there. I'd imagine they'd even try and get the taxpayers to fund that!

    1. Oh lmao you are totally right about that one. He will have them all starting charter schools where they get out and using IVL. Imagine the possibilities!

    2. Your readers believe every "fact" you throw out there as if it's absolute truth. Sounds a little like the way board members believed every word Ingersoll said. Has everyone lost their ability to practice discernment when it comes to what is written/said by bloggers, media, politicians, charter school folks and the like?

    3. If you have a case you'd like to present, submit it and I'll publish it.

      Sounds to me like I'm getting too close to the truth.

    4. I have no case to present. I'm just stating what it looks like to me. This most recent post isn't based on fact, but rather on something you’re presuming is accurate. Maybe it’s accurate, maybe it’s not. Who knows without the actual numbers, right? It’s a free world. You can publish whatever you’d like. My problem is not with you, but with readers who believe every word to be fact. Where’s the discernment? It would be like voters only listening to one politician and deciding that’s the person who should receive their vote in November. Where’s the discernment in that? The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Run for your lives!

    5. If you read the post carefully, I clearly state that I'm using a 2005 building permit in an attempt to determine how much the new building will cost Mark Noss and his MDN Development partners to build -- BECAUSE THAT IMPORTANT BUDGET AND BIDDING INFORMATION WAS KEPT SECRET AND NOT MADE PUBLIC!

      Instead of calling out what you see as inaccuracy, why not instead request that the GTA instruct its management company to release the information?

      Just because they're not required to doesn't mean they can't.

    6. If the Noss is not willing to show the exact costs, how would anyone ever know what they are doing. I think it would behove GTA to get an outside lawyer to look at the deal Noss is offering and then present it to the taxpayers. The local newspaper doesn't seem to be asking the right questions or even investigating this. Noss has been with Ingersoll forever which means every aspect of Full Spectrum and any other LLC he has collecting and paying out money should be questioned. Tax evasion, multiple LLC'S, improper use of tax payers money and so much more. We deserve to know!

    7. Discernment? Steve Ingersoll, is that you?

  2. They aren't doing this for charity. They are called for profit charters for a reason.

  3. I believe that Miss Fortune presents information and backs it up with examples and facts. She asks questions that we all want answers to. If I can see that the same people are running a for profit charter school and nothing has really changed, then yes I am concerned. Ingersoll is still the head of this operation along with Noss, Lynch, Habermehl and Harger and these greedy leaches are profiting off the education of our children; I too want answers, as to where the taxpayers money is going. This is the exact problem with for-profit education and it needs to be corrected.

    Ingersoll's tactic is to hire people that are greed oriented and get them to work for him and pay them off to keep their mouths shut, nothing has changed here. If we don't take back our schools, get better transparency, stop the MDE from doing favors for these charter cheaters then we are in big trouble. No one, I mean no one, puts their money out there to NOT make a profit. All of these guys are using everyone of us to buy their expensive homes, vacations and everything else they desire. If people don't start investigating and asking questions and getting answers,then our children are in trouble and we are not making this world a better place. TIME TO STOP THE CHARTER CHEATERS and THEIR MINIONS!!!

  4. From what I can see and I have looked at it from all sided, these guys really have pulled the wool over so many people. I believe we as citizens have a right to know exactly where OUR money is going. I am tired of the business welfare that is going on here.

  5. Why doesn't someone ask the Record-Eagle to find out the actual numbers? Isn't that the job of a newspaper?

  6. What's funny is its all legal...

  7. what a trip! a problem with the readers and what they believe?
    sounds like you're the one that's making it personal idiot,you're right this is the good USA so kiss off

  8. It’s not all legal, it’s just un-investigated. Here are a few facts for the fact-doubting person:

    1. Fact – Noss told IRS investigators by phone he knew nothing about the $3.58 million sitting on the GTA’s books as a prepay (then switched to accounts receivable at the end of the year to cook the books so the school wouldn’t look like it was in deficit), then did a total reversal when they interviewed him in person stating not only that he knew, but all the board members knew as well.
    2. Fact – all board members interviewed by the same investigators said that they didn’t know.
    3. Fact – Noss allegedly fired Kaye Mentley to sever all ties with Smart Schools Management, Inc (aka Ingersoll), then personally continued to consult with him and pay him $12,500 per month for the past two years, and kept that a secret from the board until called out by the very courageous Mr. Lowe, Noss’s former controller.
    4. Fact – Noss co-owns the copyright to IVL, for which the GTA was paying $300,000 per year, as testified to by Mentley on 1/7/16, but then wants us to believe he was paying Ingersoll for his intellectual property. Yeah, right.
    5. Fact – IVL has NEVER been peer reviewed or validated over 20 years later.
    6. Fact – GTA’s current board president, the one at the helm when they decided to write the money taken by Ingersoll off to bad debt and not sue him or report him to law enforcement, testified under oath that he was shopping a school business venture on behalf of “my good friend and colleague, Steven Ingersoll,” POST indictment and POST conviction.
    7. Fact – Habermehl submitted a character reference on behalf of Ingersoll to the court, also POST conviction, and while still serving as the GTA board president.
    8. Fact – Bruce Harger, LSSU’s retired director of LSSU’s charter school office was in on the same business venture.
    9. Fact – it doesn’t get any dirtier than this.
    10. Fact – Mark Noss looks like a true idiot, parading around as a senior citizen with his shirt off like he’s some sort of young stud.

    1. Thank you so much for the 'facts'. The sad fact for Noss/Ingersoll/Habermehl/Harger/Lynch is it's IVL all right... but their vision is only of 'I Value Loot' for themselves and at the expense of taxpayers the general public, and the students. But, their day is coming. We all need to be vocal and vigilant, not let up on contacting all media and legislators.

  9. what's funny is Ingersoll thought it was all legal too! LOL
    THE Best Is Yet To Come....
    anybody know a good eye doctor?