The first bonds from Measure E, the Santa Clarita Community College District $230 million general obligation bonds approved by voters in June 2016, were sold on April 12, yielding $50 million to assist in funding a new parking structure at the college’s Valencia campus and two new buildings at its Canyon Country campus.
“With student enrollment continuing to grow, the funds come at a critical time in the college’s development,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said. “The demand for access to education, whether from veterans looking to transition to new careers, or from high school students planning to jumpstart their college studies, or local residents focusing on upgrading their skills to remain competitive in fast-changing fields, means that we will need more facilities, and different kinds of facilities, to serve our community. Measure E provides the funding that allows us to respond to what our community needs.”
As a part of the financing process, the District received and confirmed its credit ratings with Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, which issued an “AAA” rating—the highest rating assigned to a community college—and an “AA” rating, respectively, with stable outlooks.
As a result, the district received over $114 million in orders for the $50 million in bonds being offered, which demonstrated significant investor interest in the district’s bonds.
The current interest bonds went to market April 11 with an interest rate of 3.63 percent.
Measure E will help build a three-story parking structure at the college’s Valencia campus, which will create 1,659 parking spaces. Construction is slated to begin by the end of 2017.
The first permanent building to be built on the Canyon Country campus, the Science Building will be located at the center of campus, serving as a focal point for students and first-time visitors. The approximately 52,000-square-foot building will primarily be devoted to physical and biological sciences, housing eight labs and a lecture room.
The Student Services/Learning Resources Building will be the new home to Student Services and The Learning Center (TLC). The four-story building will be opposite the Science Building at the center of campus and will provide office and library space.
Projections show student enrollment at College of the Canyons growing to reach 30,000 students per semester over the next decade or so. That increase is expected in part from new programs like First-Year Promise, which provides first-time, full-time students with a free year of college, as well as College Now!, which enables high school students to take courses without paying the $46 per unit enrollment fee.
In addition to the general obligation bond sale, the district refinanced approximately $10.25 million in Certificates of Participation (COPs). The new COPs will enable the district to save approximately $1 million in interest costs.
The district’s bond finance team included Piper Jaffray as the Investment Banking/Underwriting Firm, KNN Public Finance, LLC, serving as Municipal Advisor for the transaction, and Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth serving as Bond and Disclosure Counsel.