Governing Board approves issue and sale of bonds, land acquisition in Apache Junction, Casa Grande

June 18, 2009

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – The Pinal County Community College District Governing Board put in motion the expansion of Central Arizona College on Tuesday afternoon when it authorized the institution to purchase two small tracts of land in Casa Grande and Apache Junction and approved the sale of $40 million in general obligation bonds to Morgan Stanley.

The actions were approved during the monthly PCCCD Governing Board Meeting held on June 16 at CAC’s Signal Peak Campus.

“These are the first two steps in starting the facilities expansion,” Dennis Jenkins, the president and chief executive officer for Central Arizona College, said in reference to the land acquisitions. “Offers on both pieces of property have been submitted, but we won’t close until after July 1.”

In November, the voters of Pinal County approved a nearly-$99 million bond initiative to expand Central Arizona College’s services and accessibility throughout the region.

Although funds from the sale of the bonds are not available until July 1, CAC administrators have spent the last seven months preparing.

That planning targeted a one-half acre lot adjacent to CAC’s Casa Grande Center which is located at the intersection of North Trekell Road and East Florence Boulevard - one of the busiest intersections in Casa Grande.

“Purchasing this property will be critical in the development and expansion of the Casa Grande Center facilities,” Russ Banta, CAC’s vice president for finance and administration, said. “By purchasing this property, the district will own the entire city block and allow the college to become more flexible in the development and expansion of the Casa Grande Center.”

The block is bordered by North Trekell Road to the east, North Coolidge Avenue to the west, East Florence Boulevard to the north, and East 6th Street to the south. The district also owns a substantial amount of the block to the south immediately across East 6th Street.

The property currently has two buildings leased by businesses in the community, one vacant office building, and one office building used by the current owners of the property for their business.

The current owners will relocate after the sale is finalized, while the lease agreements with the two remaining tenants will end in December of 2010. All four buildings are expected to be demolished.

The purchase price for the property is proposed at $400,000 and is expected to be funded from the general obligation bond proceeds.

The PCCCD Governing Board also approved land acquisition in Apache Junction that would help facilitate better access through CAC’s campus in Apache Junction.

“This property will be important in the future development and expansion of the Superstition Mountain Campus,” Jenkins said. “We are currently developing the site master plan and have determined that ownership of this property will facilitate the development of access routes to the campus along South Idaho Road - which is planned to be a major north and south route.”

The area consists of 1.89 acres of vacant commercial land located on the southeast corner of South Idaho Road and East Broadway Avenue. The land borders property owned by Central Arizona College to the north and east.

The purchase price for the property is proposed at $330,000 and, like the Casa Grande property, is expected to be funded from general obligation bond proceeds.

On Tuesday morning a few hours before the Governing Board meeting, Central Arizona College learned that Morgan Stanley had the best bid and was awarded the contract to purchase $40 million in General Obligation Bonds Series A (2009).

The interest rate will average just over five percent during the life of the bond with yearly maturity taking place each July 1 through 2034.

The Governing Board agreed and approved the resolution to adopt the issuance and sale of the bonds.


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