Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Refinancing Has Saved $47.5 Million Overall

By taking advantage of lower interest rates to pay off previous bond issues for the Building Equity Sooner for Tomorrow (BEST) School Construction Program, the District continues to reduce financing costs through efforts by the BEST Board, Greenville County School Board and district Finance Department.

Action taken in May will save $10.5 million in interest payments during the next ten years by refinancing $62 million in 2004 BEST Bonds at an interest rate of 2.95%, a 42.8% rate reduction from the original average interest rate of 5.16%.  In all, refinancing saved $47.5 million in interest costs.

The BEST School Construction Program was completed in August, 2010, with the opening of A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering. The BEST Program fulfilled its purpose to renovate existing schools and to build new and replacement schools to accommodate the growing student population and to provide equitable school buildings for all students. In all, 70 schools and centers across Greenville County have been built.

Financing the BEST School Construction Program is similar to a home mortgage or installment purchase. This financing approach allowed schools to be built when needed, versus building one or two schools at a time and never catching up with needs, and stabilized tax millage for school construction.

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