A school district in Jefferson City, Missouri, sold more than $46 million in bonds to make improvements to its public schools, including the construction of a new early childhood center.
S&P Global Ratings gave the bonds a rating of AA+ based on its direct deposit program and AA- based on the district’s underlying credit. The bonds mature between 2025 and 2043, with yields between 3.25% and 4.25%.
The issuance of the bonds, which are part of a program known as Kids FIRST, was approved by voters in a referendum in April. The measure passed with the support of 68% of voters and authorized $85 million in public expenditure to improve the district’s schools. The district expects the portion of improvements financed by this week’s bond issuance to be completed within two years.
“The District has identified projects by building to be undertaken over the next couple of years, but has not yet commenced significant design work or construction,” according to the official statement accompanying the sale of the bonds.
In addition to the early childhood center, the Kids FIRST bond will upgrade smartboards in elementary and middle schools to touchscreens; renovate two of the district’s middle schools; expand the district’s career center; replace technology at the district’s performing arts center; and make other improvements.
The district anticipates making additional improvements with the remaining $40 million authorized under the April referendum.
The bond is a so-called zero-tax-rate-increase issuance, meaning that it will not result in higher taxes in the district. Jefferson City’s schools impose lower taxes than comparable districts in the state.
Stifel, Nicolaus and Company served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for more than $49 million. The price reflected a premium of $3 million.