The Cherry Creek School District continues to deliver on its promise of fiscal stewardship as it makes significant progress on the $250 million in construction projects approved by voters in 2016 as part of the district's bond and budget election.
The district has successfully secured funding for all projects identified in the 2016 election and has achieved significant savings for taxpayers in the district.
Additionally, the district saw its credit rating upgraded by Standard & Poor's from AA to AA+ last month, a testament to the strong fiscal condition of the Cherry Creek School District.
With the bonds now issued, ground has been broken on Elementary School #44 and Middle School #11 in the eastern part of the district. What's more, the future Career and Innovation Academy is currently in the design phase and progressing on schedule for its launch in the fall of 2018. Elementary and middle school teams across the district are working diligently on plans to design and build innovation spaces to ignite student curiosity and creativity.
A summary of recent finance updates follows:
2016 Bond Update
On Sept. 21, the district sold $100 million in new General Obligation bonds. This is the second part of the $250 million debt authorization approved in 2016 by district voters. The winning bid was submitted by Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co. with a true interest Cost of 3.22%.
CCSD Chief Financial Officer David Hart offered positive feedback concerning the number of bids and the outstanding results for both bond issues.
"This is a great result for the taxpayers of Cherry Creek and for our students," Hart said. "These funds will allow us to move ahead on the construction of new facilities and the renovation of our existing schools. The bids that we received were better than we had anticipated, thus saving the district taxpayers several million dollars in interest."
According to the district's financial advisors, Ehlers and First Southwest, the very aggressive bids received are a reflection of both the investor demand for high-quality bonds, as well as of the current historically low interest rates.
"Cherry Creek is an extremely strong credit, as evidenced by the Aa1/AA+ ratings assigned by Moody's and Standard & Poor's, respectively," said Jim Harrington, Ehlers Senior Municipal Advisor. "The district also benefited from the upgrade from AA to AA+ assigned by S&P. This change in rating is significant. Cherry Creek is one of only two school districts in Colorado to enjoy the coveted Aa1/AA+ ratings. The number of bidders that competed to buy the bonds and the strong bids received are a reflection of the credit markets' view of the district's quality."
Series 2009 Bond Refinance
In addition to issuing the new bonds, on Sept. 21 the district also successfully sold $75,510,000 of bonds in order to refinance some existing General Obligation debt. The total savings including principal and interest amount to $12.5 million.
The issue refinances $78,740,000 of Series 2009 bonds, which were outstanding and carried a significantly higher interest rate of 4.91%. The bond issue reduced the principal amount of the outstanding debt by over $3 million, while also lowering the average interest rate from 4.91% to 1.90%.