Innovative JEDA Bond Funding to Help Wofford College Renovate, Expand
Innovative bond financing facilitated by the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority (JEDA) will help Wofford College, one of South Carolina’s landmark institutions of higher education, to renovate and expand.
This is one of the first transactions in the state where eligible portions of the financing combined New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) with tax-exempt bonds for a 501(c)(3) organization, which provides businesses located in areas in need of economic development with lower cost capital and more flexible financing terms. Other portions of the project not involving New Markets Tax Credits were financed using JEDA bonds alone.
A $25 million economic development revenue bond, as well as New Markets Tax Credits for the eligible portions of the projects, will provide a portion of the funding for the renovation of multiple student facilities buildings and the construction of two new exciting student amenity and other improvements and spaces at Wofford.
JEDA bond proceeds will finance a portion of the facilities to house 80 new beds in loft-style housing on the second and third floors of The Village. In addition, the use of New Markets Tax Credits and bond proceeds will assist other portions of the Village, including the college’s Center for Professional Excellence, high-technology classrooms and meeting spaces, and a grand galleria that will feature a deli restaurant and grocery market on the first floor. The funds will be used to make energy-saving and monitoring improvements on campus and for renovations being conducted in multiple college facilities.
As Wofford grows from 1,500 students to 1,650 students over the next five years, the college also will use the funds to create 18 full-time faculty positions and 14 full-time staff positions to augment the current 414 jobs on the campus.
“Our mission at Wofford is to provide the best liberal arts education for our students, and that means having the best possible facilities and faculty available,” said Wofford President Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap. “The JEDA funding is critical to our ability tomove ahead with these projects and to prepare for the future.”
“Wofford College has been a vital institution of higher learning and great opportunity for our state for more than 150 years. We’re pleased to offer an innovative way to help the school prepare for the next 150 years,” said Tyler Smith, Legal Counsel with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd in Greenville.
“This new, innovative way of implementing both NMTC with tax-exempt bonds, in tandem with monies provided by bonds alone as appropriate, allows JEDA to offer more incentives to businesses and non-profit organizations, ultimately creating more jobs for South Carolina in areas of need. Wofford College will benefit from this and so will the entire state,” said Harry Huntley, Executive Director of JEDA in Columbia.