Expansion of PUC Achieve Charter School Funded With Loan Led by Five Star Bank

WARSAW, N.Y., Nov. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Five Star Bank (“Five Star”), subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISI), announced today that it was the lead bank in a syndicated $4.2 million loan to finance an expansion of the PUC Achieve Charter School in Rochester. Five Star provided $1.4 million of the financing and two additional local lenders provided the balance.

The expansion project has been completed and doors opened in September 2016, in time for the start of school. The 30,000 square foot addition includes music and art classrooms, a nurse’s office and a two-story gymnasium. The expansion creates the instructional space needed to house seventh and eighth grade students and provides additional parking and outdoor play areas. The school opened in 2014 in a 22,000 square foot building for students in grades 5 and 6. There are currently 286 students enrolled at PUC Achieve.

Five Star President and Chief Executive Officer Martin K. Birmingham stated, “We are honored to be involved in this community project, one that was well-planned and supported by the benefactors of the PUC Achieve Charter School. Five Star Bank is dedicated to providing leadership and support for the many communities we serve and we welcomed this opportunity to support education in the City of Rochester.”

PUC Achieve Charter School is located on Mark Street in the Northeast Quadrant of Rochester. The school has been successful in accelerating the math and reading comprehension of its students, who were well behind their grade level when they entered. Long-term plans include the addition of a PUC Achieve elementary school and a PUC Achieve high school, all on a large campus that will anchor the neighborhood.

The borrower was E3 Rochester Real Estate, LLC, a non-profit 501(c)3. It is a grassroots, community-based not-for-profit organization formed to recruit, launch and support high-quality public charter schools in the City of Rochester. PUC Achieve is one of two charter schools recruited to the City by E3 Rochester.

“We are so pleased that Five Star Bank stepped forward to support our efforts to provide a great school for the children of the Northeast Quadrant,” said Bryan Hickman, Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of E3 Rochester. “Without their help, the school would not be here.”

About PUC Achieve

PUC Achieve is focused on college preparation, while infusing the arts into the curriculum. Its warm, inviting atmosphere nurtures middle school students in a positive school environment centered on community and family.

PUC National is a nonprofit charter school development and management organization that develops and supports schools that provide a successful alternative to traditional public education. The mission of all PUC schools is to uplift the communities served through the development and support of high-quality charter schools and meaningful partnerships. PUC’s vision is for all of its students to graduate from high school prepared for success in college.

About Five Star Bank

Five Star Bank provides a wide range of consumer and commercial banking services to individuals, municipalities, and businesses through a network of more than 50 offices and 60 ATMs throughout Western and Central New York State. More information on Five Star Bank is available through the company’s website at www.five-starbank.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Five Star Bank is a subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. (“FII”), a publicly-traded company. FII provides diversified financial services through its subsidiaries Five Star Bank, Scott Danahy Naylon and Courier Capital. FII and its subsidiaries employ approximately 700 individuals. The company’s stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol FISI and it is a member of the NASDAQ OMX ABA Community Bank Index. Additional information is available on the company’s website: www.fiiwarsaw.com.

Contacts: Five Star Bank Shelly J. Doran Director – Investor & External Relations (585) 627-1362 or sjdoran@five-starbank.com PUC Achieve & E3 Rochester Aimee J. Lewis (585) 414-9838

Source:Financial Institutions, Inc.