The third bond issuance of Measure E, the Santa Clarita Community College District general obligation bonds, were sold Oct. 20, yielding $70 million to assist College of the Canyons in building out the Canyon Country campus and upgrading the Valencia campus.
“Thanks to the support of the community through Measure E, College of the Canyons continues to be well positioned to expand its programs and services for our students and our local workforce,” said Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “The planned enhancements at both of our campuses will benefit our students, staff, faculty, and the Santa Clarita Valley community for years to come, while enhancing the economic health of our region.”
As a part of the financing process, the District affirmed 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 $182 million in orders for the $70 million in bonds being offered, which demonstrated significant investor demand in the district’s bonds.
The current interest bonds were sold with a final all-in true interest cost of 4.56 percent, down from 4.61 percent during the pre-marketing period the prior day. The rate drop was due to the strong investor interest and saved $870,000 in interest cost to the taxpayers.
“The success of each Measure E issuance to date has been made possible thanks to the diligence and expertise of our district staff and legal and financial counsel,” said Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Business Services Sharlene Coleal.
Local voters approved Measure E in June 2016 for a total of $230 million to fund multiple projects at both campuses.
The bonds funded construction of the Takeda Science Center, which is located at the Canyon Country campus and serves as a focal point for students and first-time visitors. The approximately 55,000-square-foot building is primarily devoted to physical and biological sciences, housing eight labs, plus lecture classrooms.
Measure E also funded construction of the Student Services/Learning Resources Center, which is nearing completion at the Canyon Country campus. The four-story building sits adjacent to the Takeda Science Center and will provide office and library space at the Canyon Country campus.
The college also built a three-story parking structure at the Valencia campus, which added 1,659 parking spaces, thanks to Measure E.
Moving forward, Measure E funds will go toward the renovation of several existing buildings at the college’s Valencia campus. And, at Canyon Country, Measure E will fund construction of a new 25,000-square-foot classroom and lab building that will replace two sections of modular buildings on the campus.
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 Canyons Promise, which provides first-time, full-time students with two free years of college, as well as College Now!, which enables high school students to take courses without paying the $46 per unit enrollment fee.
The district’s bond finance team included Raymond James as the investment banking/underwriting firm, Isom Advisors serving as municipal advisor for the transaction, and Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth serving as bond and disclosure counsel.