County commissioners approve bonds for campus construction, upgrades

The Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners voted 10-0 Tuesday to adopt a resolution that approves the issuance of up to $764 million in revenue bonds by the county Educational Facilities Authority on behalf of the University of Miami. Tax-exempt revenue collected from the sale of the bonds will be loaned to the university to finance or refinance all or part of the cost of projects at the school’s Coral Gables campus, as well as refunding past revenue bonds series from 2007 and 2008 that helped fund past projects.

According to the resolution’s memorandum, the Board of Commissioners created the EFA “and empowered it to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds for the purpose of making loans to secondary educational institutions such as the University in order to provide financing for qualified educational facilities.”

The collective series of projects listed in the memorandum as being financed by the revenue bonds, known as the “2015 Project,” include an “ambulatory care center, an ERP – Workday system and a nursing simulation hospital.”

The ambulatory care center is the already under-construction Lennar Foundation Medical Center, while the ERP – Workday system is a software system that offers human capital and financial management resources. Associate Vice President of Campus Planning & Development Janet Gavarrete recently told The Miami Hurricane that permitting for the simulation hospital was underway, and that the university would have a better idea of when groundbreaking might take place by January 2016.

The memorandum states that the EFA and the county have no liability with respect to the repayment of the bonds; “the principal and interest on the Bonds shall be payable solely from the revenues of the University.”

A request for comment was not returned by the university.

Feature photo courtesy Pixabay user falco.