A school district in Madison, Wisconsin, issued $105 million in bonds to acquire new school buildings and make renovations to existing schools.
The bonds, issued by the Metropolitan Madison School District (MMSD), received a rating of AA+ from S&P Global Ratings. They mature between 2024 and 2043, with yields ranging from 2.76% to 4.17%.
“MMSD’s families and students have told us to bring our school buildings into the 21st century with innovative, modern, flexible, classrooms that support multiple learning styles. We see the futures of MMSD students in safe spaces that are well-lit, inviting, accessible, and climate-controlled and that foster engagement, relationship building, and positive climate and culture,” according to the school district’s website.
The issuance comes as MMSD seeks to draw back students that have not returned since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education norms. The district’s enrollment still has not recovered; for the 2022-23 academic year, it is about 5% lower than prepandemic levels.
The bonds will finance the remaining portion of the cost of a new school building, renovations at all four of the district’s high schools, and the acquisition of land to relocate an existing elementary school. The issuance follows a 2020 referendum that saw voters authorize up to $317 million in bonds to make those improvements. Voters also approved an additional $33 million in operating funds for the district to be phased in over four years. The measures passed with about three-quarters of voters in support.
The bonds will be general obligations on the district, backed by its full faith and credit.
BofA Securities Inc served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $108 million. The price reflected a premium of $3 million.