The action is the first step in issuing funding bonds for construction of the new building — the most significant capital project undertaken by the college since the primary construction of the main campus in Galesburg.
“It’s of course a very exciting process,” said Cory Gall, associate vice president for administrative services at Sandburg. “It’s been a long time since the college has issued debt for capital projects.”
The temporary debt certificates the board adopted will be redeemed for a permanent debt issuance later in the year, following a Bond Issuance Notification Act hearing as required by law.
Gall said the ability to do this while maintaining a flat tax rate has been a priority for the board of trustees.
At its Sept. 23 meeting, the board of trustees adopted $30 million in debt certificates for future capital projects.
The proposed health and science building would house in-demand programs, allow for growth and replace the three pods that make up Building A, which was built as part of the original campus in 1969.
“It’s all in preparation for adopting those funding bonds,” Gall said.
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Principal and interest for bond debt is paid from a portion of the college’s tax levy. Because the college’s current bond debt has a short life — those bonds are set to expire in levy year 2023 — the tax rate is expected to remain unchanged.
“It is the college’s intention to issue this debt without increasing our overall tax rate,” Gall said. The college’s 2020 tax levy was $13.1 million with a tax rate of $0.64.
Gall said the $30 million is primarily for the construction of the new building. “There will certainly be some other smaller improvements along the way,” Gall said. “But that’s the primary use.”
More:Carl Sandburg College master plan includes new health, science building The college has consulted with investment bank Piper Sandler on the issuance of funding bonds.
In August, the board of trustees approved a campus master plan to serve as a roadmap for improvements and developments in the coming years. The last new construction on campus was the addition of Building H, which houses the college’s mortuary science program, in 2006.