Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Press Release - ARRA Lowers Construction Costs at Metro State

OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.
WWW.COLORADO.GOV/GOVERNOR


OFFICE OF TREASURER CARY KENNEDY
www.colorado.gov/treasury/


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 25, 2009

CONTACTS
Evan Dreyer, 720.350.8370, evan.dreyer@state.co.us
Eric Rothaus, 303.866.4951, eric.rothaus@state.co.us
Cathy Lucas, 303.916.1002, lucascat@mscd.edu

RECOVERY ACT LOWERS CONSTRUCTION COSTS AT METRO STATE COLLEGE

Metropolitan State College of Denver has become the first state institution of higher education to take advantage of provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which will help lower the cost of construction projects.

Metro State used Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, a financing instrument created by ARRA, to issue $56.5 million in taxable bonds and secure an interest rate not seen since the 1960s. The federal government will pay 45 percent of the interest, saving Metro State $15 million to $20 million in interest payments compared to traditional tax exempt bonds.

Metro will use the bond proceeds to build a four-story, 143,000-square-foot Student Success Building, which will house services and offices that are currently spread throughout the campus. By consolidating and providing more room for academic success, support, advising, and enrollment programs the new building will improve customer service and meet the needs of the growing student body.

"This is a significant savings for Metro State, and in this tough economy, every dollar saved is vital," Gov. Ritter said. "This is truly a win-win-win, for the students and faculty at Metro, for taxpayers, and for Colorado's economy. This project will put people to work, and when finished, this new building will be a hub of learning for thousands of students."

During the 2009 legislative session the legislature passed and the Governor signed into law HB09-1346, which was initiated by State Treasurer Cary Kennedy's office. It permits ARRA financing to be used by higher education institutions for capital construction. The legislation authorized the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to prioritize projects and allocate bonding volume to institutions of higher education. Metro State was the first institution to receive an allocation.

"We were able to move much more quickly than most states to take advantage of the Recovery Act," said Kennedy. "This lowers the cost and gives us greater value for the dollars we do spend."

"We are so appreciative of the work of Colorado Commission on Higher Education and the Treasurer's office in providing Metro State with the opportunity to use the Recovery Zone Economic Development bond, which allowed us to secure a 3.35 percent interest rate -- the lowest in Colorado since the 1960s," said Metro State President Dr. Stephen Jordan.