BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Nearly $300 million in construction projects around the state will be funded through premium revenues from the state’s recent $1.25 billion bond sales, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday.
The money will be dedicated to 20 projects.
”The announcement today marks a significant investment in the future of this state,” Ivey said in a written statement. “I’m grateful to the Alabama Legislature for the enabling legislation which established the (Public School and College Authority) and the astute work of State Finance Director Kelly Butler for positioning the bond sale in the best way possible.”
The $1.25 billion bond issuance was approved last month by the Alabama Public School and College Authority. However, thanks to the interest rate secured by the Ivey and the Department of Finance, the state will now see an extra $298 million that will go toward additional projects.
”Because of the low interest rate in the market, these extra funds were created,” Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said. Orr sponsored the 2020 legislation that allowed for the bond sale. “Gov. Ivey has made strategic decisions that will benefit the state significantly in the decades ahead.”
The true interest cost of the bonds is 2.145% over the 20-year repayment period, Ivey’s office said Thursday.
Unlike the $1.25 billion that is flowing to school systems and colleges and universities, this $298 million was earmarked for specific construction projects, related to education and workforce development.
Lawmakers didn’t have a say in the distribution of premium money; that was the authority. But Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, said the project list is “a good investment in the future of our state in multiple areas of our state and in multiple education sectors.”
”The PSCA bond is intended to invest in education and invest in economic development opportunities that spin off of education and improve the lives of Alabamians both now and in the future,” Poole said.
A formula approved by lawmakers this spring doles out a base of $400,000 to each K-12 system, then more based on enrollment and a previous education funding formula. It means at least $1 million to nearly all school systems. The state’s largest system, Mobile County Schools, will receive about $61.7 million, according to the Alabama Department of Finance.
Alabama’s four-year universities will receive a combined $217.8 million and the Alabama Community College System will receive $120 million.
Education entities can use the money for construction projects and repairs on their campuses.
Ivey originally proposed early this year a $1 billion bond issue. Lawmakers increased that amount to $1.25 billion.
The PSCA projects funded from the premium revenue and announced today are as follows:
University of Alabama Huntsville
Huntsville Regional Lab and Morgue 11,000,000
Expansion of Biotech Campus/designate Alabama the Discovery
Life Sciences Global Headquarters 15,000,000
New STEM & Agricultural Sciences Complex 50,000,000
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Genomic Medical & Data Sciences Building 50,000,000
Center for Materials and Manufacturing 9,450,000
Alabama Center for Arts
University of South Alabama
New Medical School Building 50,000,000
University of North Alabama
Computer Science & Mathematics Building 15,000,000
Alabama School of Deaf and Blind
North Alabama Campus 28,519,992
Alabama Aviation College
Phase 2 renovations of Barnett Building and upgrade the hanger floor 500,000
Workforce Development Center 8,000,000
Alabama Shakespeare Festival
Renovations & Repairs 5,000,000
Alabama School of Math & Science
Science Research Center 6,000,000
Outdoor Classrooms 235,000
Jacksonville State University
Randy Owen Performance Center 15,000,000
The American Village
Central Independence Hall & Tower Classrooms and Experiences 5,000,000
Alabama A&M University
Library Roofing 907,500
Wilson Hall, Drake Hall, Carnegie Hall wood restoration project 605,000
University of Montevallo
Residence Halls - HVAC/Roof Repair 1,000,000
University of West Alabama
Brock Hall 2nd Floor Renovation 2,600,000
Alabama State University
Friendship Manor 1,500,000