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Sale of new bond package pushes CSU System debt over $1 billion

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The Colorado State University campus has entered a state of construction, leaving the CSU System with over $1 billion in debt after the sale of a $171 million bond package earlier in August.

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The most recent bond package supporting major construction projects was sold by CSU System in less than four hours. This package includes funding for a new medical center, a new biology building, an academic and alumni addition to the stadium, the new Plant Environmental Research Center greenhouses and two new parking areas.

The combined debt for the CSU System currently totals $1.1 billion, according to Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications Mike Hooker.

“The debt is coming as a result of issuing bonds to invest in improvements, renovations or replacement of academic, athletic, parking and housing and dining facilities across the CSU System including CSU Pueblo,” Hooker wrote in an e-mail to the Collegian.

He said there are no plans for an additional bond package this fall.

The combined true interest rate of this package is 4.01 percent, according to a press release. Chief Financial Officer of the CSU System Richard Schweigert said in the press release that these bonds will help CSU meet the needs of a growing student body by providing world-class research centers and infrastructure.

(Photo Credit: SOURCE).

“The financial strength and stability of the CSU System has allowed us to leverage the continuing favorable interest rate environment in the capital markets so we can move forward with a strategic effort to transform and revitalize the main campus of Colorado’s only land-grant institution,” Schweigert said in a press release.

The bonds associated with the new medical center are Colorado’s first “green bonds.” These types of bonds match investors with environmentally-friendly projects. The new medical center is expected to achieve at least a silver certification level under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program, according to the press release.

The medical center is scheduled for completion in late 2016. Groundbreaking for stadium construction will take place on West Lake Street and Pitkin Street during the weekend of Sept. 12, and the complex is expected to be completed in time for the 2017 football season.

(Photo credit: Source)
(Photo Credit: SOURCE)

Athletics Director Joe Parker said the stadium addition will provide value to the academic core of the institution. He said both the alumni center and the academic addition will benefit campus engagement.

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“The project has been characterized as a stadium project, but it truly is a multi-purpose facility,” Parker said.

The financial strength of the CSU System was supported prior to the sale of the bonds through both Standard and Poor’s Rating Service and Moody’s Investor Service. S&P continued its A+ rating for overall debt within the CSU System, while Moody’s backed the System’s Aa3 rating.

All parts of this sale, except the stadium bonds, were issued with the backing of the Colorado State Intercept Program, supporting them with the entire state budget.

Collegian News Editor Christina Vessa can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @ChrissyVessa.

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