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School Committee votes to refinance debt, save money

Date: 5/2/2011

May 2, 2011

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM — The Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District (HWRSD) will be the beneficiary of a repayment program offered by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) that will result in significant savings.

According to Superintendent M. Martin O'Shea, the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee voted at its April 26 meeting to take advantage of the program to "relieve itself of existing debt" from the renovation of the Stony Hill and Mile Tree schools in 1999 and refinance the portion of the project the district is still responsible for.

"The MSBA was seeking to retire some of its debt and we as a district qualified for the program based on the age of this debt," O'Shea said.

The program offered the district a lump sum payment to replace the annual payments the district was scheduled to receive from the MSBA to pay for the renovations.

With the MSBA's portion of the debt settled, the committee agreed to refinance HWRSD's debt by selling $932,956 worth of bonds at a true interest rate of 2.13 percent. O'Shea said the move will offer a total savings of $678,632 to the district.

The committee's move will have an almost immediate impact on the town of Wilbraham, O'Shea said, as it will offer a savings of $58,212 in fiscal year 2012.

"It's certainly a very exciting development for the town of Wilbraham," O'Shea said.

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