A school building agency in Merrillville, Indiana, sold $145 million to construct and improve schools in the area.
The bonds, issued by the Merrillville Multi-School Building Corporation, mature between 2028 and 2042, yielding between 2.75% and 3.84%. They pay interest at 5%. The securities received an underlying rating of A+ and a programmatic rating of AA+ from S&P Global Ratings.
“Most building projects will include interior upgrades such as HVAC equipment, indoor lighting, carpet replacement, restroom remodels, and enhanced technology in the classrooms,” the corporation’s website says. “Exterior upgrades will include items such as outdoor LED lighting, new gates, and fencing, 3M Security Film, improved roads, and walkways, along with more innovative and inclusive playground equipment.”
The project to revamp the town’s schools comes amid falling enrollment in the Merrillville area. Total enrollment at public schools in Merrillville fell from 6,639 a decade ago to 5,938 last year.
The bonds will fund improvements to five elementary schools, as well as the town’s intermediate school, middle school, and high school. The securities will also finance renovations to transportation and maintenance buildings and the high school’s 7000-seat football stadium.
The biggest project is a 57,000 square foot career and technical education building that will be adjoined to the east side of Merrillville High School. It is projected to cost $21 million and open next fall. The corporation expects most other renovations to be completed by spring 2025.
Merrillville is a town of 35,000 in Lake County, Indiana. It is south of Gary in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company served as underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $162 million. The price reflected a premium of $17 million.