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COD sells $82 million in bonds for future projects

Updated: May 29, 2013 6:47AM

To fund its continuing campus improvement program, the College of DuPage this week sold out an $82 million general obligation bond issue almost immediately.

The revenue from the bonds will go toward future facilities and upgrades at existing structures. The upgrades may include work at the McAninch Arts Center and the Physical Education facility.

Senior Vice President for Administration and Treasurer Tom Glaser told the college’s board Wednesday night that the college’s strong financial position was key in not only selling the bonds, but also in getting a favorable interest rate.

He noted that Standard and Poor’s has rated the college as “stable” and said it was a good sign for the future.

“That’s usually an indicator of future rating activity,” he said of the Triple-A rating.

Moody’s gave the college a Triple-A rating for having a large and diverse tax base, growing reserves, and declining reliance on state aid, college officials said.

Moody’s rating did point out that the college has relatively high tuition and would inevitably have the obligation to take over the state’s responsibility for pension contributions.

Standard and Poor’s indicated that the college was well below the maximum debt allowed by state statute, had a stable enrollment and about $22 million in reserves.

Both rating agencies noted that 90 percent of District 502 being in relatively affluent DuPage County worked in its favor.

Glaser pointed out that many of Illinois’ public institutions of higher learning had been placed on a watch list by the rating agencies following the recession of 2008-2009.

“It was primarily attributable to their reliance on state revenues,” he said.

Glaser stressed the importance of seeing the bond rating agencies as very important constituents, noting that the concerns of many on campus about what programs were emphasized were irrelevant to them.

“All they want is the debt service paid on time,” he said.

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