MSSU floats bonds for new residence hall
April 18, 2014
Joplin – A bond-issue signing, authorizing the sale of nearly $30 million in bonds for the construction of a new residence hall complex, was held April 18, 2014, during the Board of Governors meeting at Missouri Southern State University.

Representatives from Edward Jones and Armstrong Teasdale were on hand for the signing, which directed the issuance of $15,030,000 auxiliary enterprise system refunding revenue bonds and $14,320,000 auxiliary enterprise system improvement revenue bonds.

Funding will be used for the construction of the residence hall complex to be located north of Newman Road and east of International Boulevard. The three-story complex will feature 51 student apartments throughout six buildings. The exterior of the complex will include an open courtyard and common areas, a pedestrian-friendly design and parking on the back side. Construction is scheduled to begin on April 28, 2014.

Rob Yust, vice president for business affairs, said that pre-sale interest in the bonds has been strong – of the $26 million in pre-order sales, $23 million has been from the state of Missouri and $2.2 million has been from businesses and individuals in Joplin.

“This is a big day for Missouri Southern,” said Yust. “There’s a huge amount of support from people interested in seeing this happen. It’s a great opportunity for us and it’s an investment in the university we hope will serve to increase enrollment.”

Julie Portman, a general partner with Edward Jones, said that she was surprised by the rapid response from investors who wanted to be a part of the project.

“It really blew me away because the sale took hours rather than weeks,” she said. “This really speaks to the interest, awareness and confidence that the entire state has in this university.”

Mitch McCumber, chair of the board’s Budget Audit Committee, called the effort a “home run,” noting $1.3 million in savings on the total bond issue was made by refinancing a loan.

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