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General revenue bonds to fund campus construction

by Cheryl Roland

April 15, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Acting at its April 8 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees gave its seal of approval to a resolution that authorizes the administration to issue and deliver general revenue bonds that will provide up to $70 million. The University can use the borrowed funds for both new construction projects on campus and to refund current outstanding bonds to achieve debt-service savings.

The bond proceeds will be used to finance a portion of the construction costs for three on-campus projects--the Western View residential housing complex, the Lee Honors College addition and the completion of a new Sangren Hall. Favorable market conditions would also allow WMU to use the bond funding to refund, at more favorable rates, more than $15.6 million of a series of 2001 bonds. Doing so would allow WMU to realize an estimated savings of about $1.1 million in debt-service cost.

Original plans called for issuance of up to $88 million in bonds. With an additional $18 million recently approved by the Michigan Legislature for the ongoing construction of Sangren Hall, the amount was reduced to a maximum of $70 million.