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College OKs $5.7M in bonds to finance capital construction

Aug 15, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees in July approved $5.7 million in bonds to help pay for capital construction projects in Fremont County.

More than half of the money -- $3.5 million -- will go toward the remodel of on-campus apartments in Riverton and the construction of a residence hall in Sinks Canyon. The rest, about $2.2 million, is for the remodel of the Riverton classroom wing, the remodel and expansion of the Pro-Tech building on campus, and the construction of a new center in Lander.

CWC President Jo Anne McFarland said the latter group of projects also will benefit from state funding.

"The total bond will be for $5.7 million," McFarland wrote in her report to the board. "The college will only be charged for the money used."

Bonds

CWC's bond attorney, Barbara Bonds of Cheyenne, finalized the bond issues in July.

"The first (withdrawal) can take place any time after the 25th of July," she told the CWC board.

Annual repayments from the college are due beginning Oct. 1; Bonds estimated CWC would have to return a minimum of $50,000 to the bank each October.

The first chunk of money is due in full by Feb. 1, 2035, she continued, but after three years, CWC does not have to pay a penalty for returning the money early. The bond carries an interest rate of 3.15 percent.

"And you don't need to pay interest on dollars you haven't used yet," Bonds said.

The maturity date on the $2.2 million bond is Feb. 1, 2022, at 2.3 percent interest. That bond does not come with a prepayment penalty, Bonds said.

"So we can pay these off early," said Ron Granger, CWC's vice president for administrative services. "We have an opportunity to pay that (off) if we need to."

Trustee Colton Crane asked Granger what money CWC would use to pay off the loans. Granger pointed out that CWC had been spending about $100,000 per year on upgrades to older facilities, but the buildings shouldn't need as much attention once the construction projects are completed.

"What we'll do is use that $100,000 plus other revenues we'll be generating," he said. "When we get our apartments upgraded we'll raise the (housing) rates to compare with everyone else. So those amounts will allow us to pay off those revenue bonds."

He said CWC's current housing rates are low compared to other colleges in the area.

Bonds noted that CWC isn't allowed to pledge tax revenues or student fees as repayment for bonds, but the college is able to use money from those sources to pay back the loans.

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