How the engineering building is funded

It is clear the construction of the new approximately $14 million School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management (SECCM) building has been a big project for the university. The question is: How does this affect the university’s budget?

“New construction programs, such as the SECCM lab building, support the growth of our programs and ensure we can meet the demands of our student body,” Budget Manager Jocelyn Rego said.

“These projects are typically funded through donations and the issuance of bonds.” 

Jerome Williams, interim chief operating officer and executive vice president for finance and administration, said the lab construction is being funded by donor donations and a 20-year bond issue. 

The university’s SECCM Labs Campaign goal is to raise $5.8 million. About $4.6 million had been raised as of April 2019, according to the RWU website.

The 27,000-square-foot, three-story, state-of-the-art laboratory building is partially funded by $8.75 million in tax-exempt Higher Educational Facility Revenue Bonds approved by the Rhode Island Health and Educational Building Corporation.

The university has reduced its bonded debt from $140 million in fiscal 2011 to under $100 million this fiscal year. It’s the first time this kind of debt has totaled less than $100 million in 10 years, Williams said.

As interest rates decline, it provides an opportunity to either issue or refinance debt at lower rates, which helps the university save money.