The Waxahachie Independent School District issued $190 million in bonds to finance the construction of new schools.
The bonds include $90 million in serial bonds, maturing between 2024 and 2043 and yielding between 2.89% and 4.13%, and $100 million in term bonds. The securities received a rating of AAA from Fitch Ratings and Aaa from Moody’s Investors Service.
The rating reflects the expectation that “the district will maintain the highest level of operating flexibility and financial resilience through economic cycles,” according to Fitch.
The issuance comes amid rapid population growth in Dallas and its surrounding suburbs over the past decade. Waxahachie is located in Ellis County, about 30 miles south of Dallas.
The bonds will finance the construction of new schools to accommodate the growing population, including a new high school and two new elementary schools. The securities will also pay for a new campus for a specialized Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) elementary school, and renovations that expand the sizes two junior high schools to allow for greater enrollment.
The school district serves a population of 60,000 residents, 47% more than it did in 2010, with enrollment increasing at a similar pace as the number of new homes in Ellis County. Other counties in the area have experienced similar growth, outpacing statewide levels even as Texas grows at one of the fastest rates in the nation.
The bonds are direct obligations of the district, payable by property taxes.
Jefferies LLC served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds at a discount of almost $1 million.