PLAINVIEW, Texas (press release) – The following is a press release from Wayland Baptist University:
The Wayland Baptist University board met on October 28 and approved a plan to restructure several bonds to secure approximately $ 3 million to be used for specific tax-exempt projects such as improvements in capital and infrastructure. This is the first time in Wayland’s history that such a fiscal maneuver has been undertaken.
In an effort led by CFO Lezlie Hukill, Wayland began to consider the possibility of restructuring or reissuing the bonds. Reissuing bonds at a lower interest rate saves the university on debt repayment. The majority of the bonds were originally issued for the construction of Jimmy Dean Hall, the purchase of the Anchorage campus building and the renovations to the university center. Wayland has paid off around $ 18 million in debt over the past decade. This restructuring will not increase the amount of debt owed on construction projects, nor will it extend the length of the repayment schedule.
“This action is truly in the best interest of the University and I am pleased that the trustees have unanimously approved it,” said Rick Breeden, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “The restructuring of the university’s bonds reduces the interest rate we are currently paying, allowing us to realize significant savings and free up additional funds allowing us to complete several much-needed capital improvement projects. “
Wayland chairman Dr Bobby Hall explained that the $ 3 million will be used for infrastructure upgrades that fall under a tax exemption category. Initial plans include technology upgrades and repair of the concrete area that stretches between the science building and the library. This area covers the basement which houses the technology hub of Wayland. Inclement weather and direct sunlight caused the concrete to deteriorate to the point that the university identified it as a risk management issue.
“Including the upcoming renovation and new construction of the Moody Science Building, Wayland will have made more than $ 22.3 million in upgrades to our system facilities over the past five years.” Hall said. “And it’s remarkable that Wayland was able to do this without increasing our debt load. “
Administration will also review improvements to parking lots, HVAC systems and other areas of need as funding becomes available. Dr Hall said the improvements align with the university’s strategic plan, as well as with facilities and maintenance, and the prioritization of technology needs system-wide.
Technology upgrades will focus primarily on wireless access, increasing the number of access points and reducing internet loading time in Wayland buildings. In a technology-driven environment, students use laptops and cellphones to connect to their electronic textbooks in classrooms. When a big
many people are on the network, access becomes limited. Wayland employees will also benefit from increased access and download speeds in their offices. New network infrastructure equipment will also be added to take advantage of the increased bandwidth on campus, improving wireless and network performance for all campus sites and improving collaboration between instructors and students. .
Senior Vice President of Operations and Student Life Dr Claude Lusk said these and other improvements will have a huge impact on the student experience at Wayland.
“We are delighted with the opportunity to meet some important needs related to our facilities,” said Lusk. “It is important to us that these expenses are closely linked to our ability to deliver both our educational and experiential product. With these projects, we will certainly be able to improve the quality of learning and life experience for Wayland students, employees and guests. “
Pending the finalization of the restructuring, funds are expected to be available in early 2022. Dr Hall said there is essentially a 3-year window to complete projects.
“Our Board of Directors was excited about the opportunity to undertake this reorganization and we greatly appreciate their leadership and foresight in working with Lezlie Hukill to expedite the process,” said Hall. “Their leadership in this area cannot be overlooked and we greatly appreciate their support at the university and their interest in providing a quality educational experience to our students in Plainview and around the world. “
Dr Hall said work on these projects would not interfere with plans to unveil the addition to the Moody Science Building in February. The new construction will include an updated laboratory and classroom space for Wayland’s School of Mathematics and Sciences as part of the recently completed Impact2020 campaign.
(Wayland Baptist University press release)