Measure E continues to benefit college

From left to right, Board of Trustees member Steve Zimmer, BOT member Edel Alonso, Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook, BOT Vice President Michael Berger, BOT Clerk Michele Jenkins and BOT member Joan MacGregor at the groundbreaking of the Science Center at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus on Wednesday, Jan, 24, 2018. The science center is one of multiple projects that were funded through the college's bond measure. Courtesy Photo

College of the Canyons’ second issuance of Measure E bonds yielded $85 million that will be used to upgrade the Canyon Country and Valencia campuses.

The interest bonds went to market Aug. 7 with a final true interest cost of 2.8 percent, which was down from 3.1 percent just 24 hours earlier, school officials said in a news release Thursday. “The rate drop, which came in response to action by the Federal Reserve and changes in the global economy, led to a $7 million savings for local taxpayers.”

As a part of the financing process, the Santa Clarita Community College District reaffirmed its credit ratings with Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, which issued a “AAA” rating — the highest rating assigned to a community college — and a “AA” rating, respectively, with stable outlooks, according to the release. This allowed the district to receive more than $544 million in orders for the $85 million in bonds being offered, which demonstrated significant investor interest in the district’s bonds. 

“The successful outcome was due to the expertise of district staff and their financial advisors, who ensured the college was ready to take the bonds to market at the optimal time,” said Sharlene Coleal, COC’s assistant superintendent and vice president of business services.  

Measure E, which was approved by local voters in 2016 for a total of $240 million, previously enabled the college to build a three-story parking structure at the Valencia campus, and school leaders said the bond will also fund the construction of a science center at the Canyon Country campus, along with other projects on both campuses.

“We look forward to enhancing facilities at both campuses, which will allow us to expand programs and services for students and deliver on the commitment we made to voters in 2016,” COC Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook said in the release. “This year marks the college’s 50th year of service to Santa Clarita, and thanks to the community’s support through Measure E, we are well-positioned for continued growth and development in the years to come.”

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