DCSD sells bonds; funds to go toward capital needs

Posted 2/7/19

The Douglas County School District has announced the sale of $249.975 million in general-obligation bonds, approved by voters in last November's election. The Jan. 29 sale provides one-time funds for …

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DCSD sells bonds; funds to go toward capital needs

Posted

The Douglas County School District has announced the sale of $249.975 million in general-obligation bonds, approved by voters in last November's election.

The Jan. 29 sale provides one-time funds for pressing capital needs, including security upgrades, facility repairs, classroom furnishings, buses and technology, according to a news release. For critical building repairs alone, the district estimates it will need between $152 million and $200 million over the next five years.

The bond sale is a “huge” step in the right direction for Douglas County, DCSD Chief Financial Officer Scott Smith said in the release.

“There was high demand in the marketplace for the school district's bonds,” Smith said. “That, along with our strong credit rating, allowed us to secure a low interest rate and begin to move forward with much-needed improvements in our district.”

Total proceeds from the sale will be approximately $289 million, the release says.

Because of DCSD's credit strength and the current interest rate environment, the district's bonds generated a premium, resulting in more funds for the district's capital needs. The result of the sale does not impact DCSD's pledge of a no-new-taxes bond, the school district assures.

Jason Simmons, DCSD's financial adviser and the managing director at Hilltop Securities, said: “The structure of the bonds, combined with the high credit ratings of the Douglas County School District, generated significant interest from a broad group of investors, helping the school district achieve very favorable results that provide benefits to the district taxpayers."

The bonds carry an “Aa1” rating from Moody's and an “AA+” from Fitch. The district's high credit quality is a result of “strong financial management practices and a robust tax base,” the release says.

DCSD was set to have access to the funds from the sale on Feb. 7.

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