Southwestern College Refinances Prop. R Bond

DeVore Stadium.
Renovation of DeVore Stadium and the construction of pools at the Wellness and Aquatic Complex were projects funded by Proposition R.

Southwestern Community College District taxpayers will save more than $10 million over the next 20 years after the district Governing Board voted to refinance a portion of Proposition R bonds Tuesday.

In dual actions at their June 9 meeting, the Governing Board voted unanimously to refinance $55 million of bonds sold in 2008 for a lower interest rate and to authorize the sale of up to $110 million in a new bond issuance. Refinancing the bond gives taxpayers a significant savings and it does not extend the bonds’ maturity date of 2022 – 2040. It is the second time since voters approved Proposition R in 2008 the college has refinanced bond sales for taxpayer savings. In 2016, the college refinanced funding to save taxpayers $17 million over the course of the bond.

“Now, more than ever, we are looking for ways to protect the financial health of our community,” said Governing Board President Nora E. Vargas. “Fiduciary responsibility is our primary role as a Governing Board, and we will always work to protect taxpayers’ pocketbooks while helping our college community thrive.”

Southwestern College currently has two AA credit ratings: “Aa2” by Moody’s Investors Service and “AA-” by Standard & Poor’s. The college bond program has also earned recognition from the San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation by receiving perfect scores for bond reporting and transparency for the last three consecutive years.

In its second action Tuesday, the board authorized the sale of an amount not to exceed $110 million in new bond issuances to continue with the planning and construction of projects under the college’s Facilities Master Plan.

“Favorable interest rates allow the college to get the most funding possible with the least impact to the community taxpayer,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Kindred Murillo. “Student-centered, equity-focused projects, such as a new student union, a new instructional building to house the University Center and the expansion of the Higher Education Center at San Ysidro, will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students.”