CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The state Higher Education Policy Commission agreed Friday to refinance bonds issued years ago by West Virginia State University, so the money saved can be used to continue renovations to facilities on the school's Institute campus.
The commission approved refunding of up to $12 million in bonds issued by WVSU over the past decade for building additions to campus.
Based on a bond pricing analysis, WVSU expects to realize a present net value of savings of more than $1 million, depending on current market conditions.
As part of the transaction, the school also plans to issue revenue bonds to finance the cost of new projects including renovations to Fleming Hall and Lakin Field, as well as additions to a classroom, window replacements and storm-water management.
The estimate of bond proceeds for those new projects would total about $6.7 million.
The revenue streams pledged to retire the refunding bonds and new project bonds are the gross operating revenues of Dawson Hall and the Student Union, and auxiliary capital fees charged to students.
Total annual debt service payments will remain at their current level through 2037, which is approximately $695,000 per year.
Secretary Kathy Eddy called the resolution a "no-brainer" in Friday's special session of the Higher Education Policy Commission.
"We are happy with the work put into this, and without a doubt, it will make a significant difference for us in terms of putting money back into campus, while our debt will stay the same or be even lower," said WVSU President Brian Hemphill.
Also at the meting, the commission agreed to let Shepherd University move ahead with new Center for Graduate and Professional Studies in Martinsburg.
The expansion will help Shepherd's large number of nontraditional students, school officials said.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.