SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued a $106,675,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Springfield College, which will use proceeds to fund several capital projects. The college will use $45,095,000 in proceeds to build and equip a new environmentally friendly and sustainable 76,000-square-foot health sciences building; this portion of the financing received the Green Bond designation by Kestrel Verifiers, which are approved verifiers accredited by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI). The college will use the remaining proceeds to build an academic quad and campus pavilion; renovate classrooms, residence halls, administrative buildings, and the existing health sciences building; improve a steam plant facility; upgrade walking and running paths and outdoor seating; and refinance previously issued debt. The bond was sold through a public offering underwritten by Hilltop Securities Inc.
“Institutions of higher education are important drivers of our state and local economies as they bring jobs, opportunities, and additional activity to communities across the Commonwealth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment is a valuable partner to those colleges and universities looking to modernize infrastructure and remain competitive hubs of innovation and intellectual exploration.”
“This major investment represents Springfield College’s commitment to its students, staff, and the entire Greater Springfield community,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is proud to lend a helping hand to support construction of a new health sciences building and significant upgrades to the college’s campus and academic facilities.”
“A big thank you to MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera, who once a mayor always a mayor, understands that these types of investments into our community are essential to maintain and move forward on capital projects while not hindering an institution’s bottom line,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “I am very appreciative of MassDevelopment’s continued support, belief and investment in our Springfield, especially to Springfield College over these past years. This public private partnership continues to greatly enhance the campus of Springfield College which in turn has increased overall quality of life to the surrounding neighborhood. In addition, and just as important, these improvements and various upgrades of the amenities and facilities the College has to offer benefits our residents, especially our students and their families.”
Springfield College was founded in 1885 as the Young Men’s Christian Association Department of the School for Christian Workers, specializing in preparing young men to become general secretaries of YMCA organizations in a two-year program. In 1890, the college separated from the School for Christian Workers and became the YMCA Training School and in 1891, became the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School. In 1912, it took the name International YMCA College and in 1954 the organization became Springfield College. The college is comprised of four schools – arts and sciences; physical education, performance, and sport leadership; health sciences; and social work and behavioral sciences – offering bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, master’s degrees in a variety of fields, and doctoral programs in counseling psychology, physical therapy, and physical education.
MassDevelopment has previously supported Springfield College with tax-exempt financing. In 2016, MassDevelopment issued a $63 million tax-exempt bond to help the college renovate and expand the 56,258-square-foot Babson Library into the Learning Commons, which houses the library, academic success services, a teaching and learning center, technology support, group study rooms, a quiet study floor, and project and research space. In 2012, MassDevelopment issued a $13.8 million tax-exempt bond to help the college refinance additions and upgrades to various educational and related facilities.
“Springfield College is one of the first colleges or universities in Massachusetts to take the lead on issuing a Green Bond that reflects the convergence of environmental and financial principles for long term sustainability,” said Springfield College Vice President for Finance and Administration William Guerrero. “The new Springfield College Health Sciences Center will be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Building Design, and the adjacent parking lot will include EV charging stations and solar canopies. This type of building design demonstrates the College’s commitment to environmental sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles to be good stewards within our community.”
MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.