Debt restructuring approved by GCCC Board of Trustees for needed projects

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Garden City Community College is located in the 800 block of North Campus Drive.

A debt restructure and financing agreement was approved by the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees at its regular meeting Tuesday.

At the board's Feb. 9 meeting, the trustees asked for more information on Certificate of  Participation financing options. At Tuesday's meeting, they heard a presentation discussing the options for debt restructuring and financing agreements.

Ryan Ruda, GCCC president, said the reason this was brought forward was because with current low-interest rates, they felt this could help "move the needle forward on deferred maintenance items" that have been on the Facilities Plan since 2012 but not addressed.

"We hope to get those properties and projects in proper alignment on campus, not only for the students, but also for the community,” he said. “The taxpayers have made an investment in GCCC and this action addresses and protects the taxpayer’s current investments in infrastructure. The sustainability of existing infrastructure is being addressed by the GCCC Board through this financing agreement."

The low-interest rate environment brings the opportunity to issue lease agreement refunding COP for cost savings on interest for obligations represented in the 2017 Lease and Series 2014 Bonds.

The board voted to proceed with the offering for sale of refunding COP and related activities. This will save the college over $200,000 while still paying debt service off in the same timeframe, 2026-27, as in the original agreement.

Additionally, the board discussed a COP financing agreement to fund the deferred maintenance and capital project needs.

The projects include: replacing hydronic water pipe across campus; a new boiler and chiller; replacing tunnel caps and sidewalks; replacing student housing roofs; replacing a bus; a transportation building to protect the vehicle fleet; cameras and lighting across campus to increase student safety; dishwasher for the cafeteria; sound, lighting and stage equipment updates in the Fine Arts Auditorium; GCCC Rodeo area/Horse Palace updates and ground improvements.

The board determined it would be in public interest to acquire, construct, install and equip the improvements through a Lease Purchase Agreement. A 15-year amoritization agreement was approved to finance the projects.