College of the Canyons refinanced $97.4 million of outstanding general obligation bond debt. The district’s taxpayers will have cash flow savings of $35.07 million over the next 30 years. This represents $22.82 million in present value and represents an overall savings of more than 23 percent of the bonds that were refunded.
“Given the historically low interest rates that are now available, the district took advantage of the opportunity to refinance the bonds and pass the savings on to local property owners,” College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “There was good interest in these bonds from a wide variety of stable investors based on the strong credit ratings of the College.”
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees the college, voted in April to refinance these particular general obligation bonds from Measures C and M. The sale was completed Tuesday.
This is the second time in three years the college has refinanced bonds in an effort to lessen the tax impact on property owners. A 2013 refinancing yielded $3.73 million of present value savings, which represented more than a 10% reduction. That refunding also lowered taxes for area property owners.
Measure C, which local voters passed in 2001, funded a number of significant facilities improvements at College of the Canyons, including the cost of acquiring 70 acres of land on Sierra Highway to build the Canyon Country Campus, and constructing the Hasley Hall classroom and computer facility, the Aliso Hall and Aliso Lab science facilities, and the Pico Canyon Hall performing arts classroom and rehearsal spaces.
The funding provided through Measure M, approved by voters in 2006, helped the college complete a number of facilities projects, including construction of all the initial buildings at the Canyon Country Campus. It also qualified COC to receive state matching funds used in building the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center that now offers more than 40 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Other key projects included the Culinary Arts building, the Mentry Hall classroom expansion, The Library and Learning Center expansion, the Applied Technology Education Center at the Canyon Country Campus, and the Canyons Hall student services center.
Together, Measure C and Measure M qualified College of the Canyons to receive $56.2 million in construction funds from the state. Colleges that have local bond funds available are given priority when applying for state funding.