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Fine Arts Complex file

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Fine Arts Complex at Hancock College in Santa Maria. The college has fully financed the proposed $48 million cost by selling $23 million in bonds through Measure I.

The Fine Arts Complex at Hancock College is one step closer to completion this month after the district successfully sold $23 million in bonds through Measure I, the remaining amount needed to finance the project. 

Eric Smith assistant superintendent/vice president for Finance and Administration, said the bonds received significant interest from investors when they went up for sale April 16. Morgan Stanley, the company which purchased the bonds from the college to resell to investors, received $46 million in orders over an hour-and-a-half, according to Smith.

"To see companies bidding in earnest to purchase Hancock bonds highlights our reputation for sound fiscal management," he said.

The bonds sold with a net interest cost of 3.4%, and Hancock received strong credit ratings from two agencies: Aa2 from Moody's Investors Service, and AA from Standard & Poor's.

The future of the project was jeopardized after Measure Y, a proposed $75 million bond measure, failed to garner enough support during the November 2018 election. Though $24 million in state matching funds and a $10 million gift from former piano instructor Patricia Boyd had already been earmarked to help cover the $48 price tag, trustees required an additional $14 million to complete the project.

In February, college trustees approved the sale of bonds through Measure I after increases to the assessed value of property in the district's boundaries created additional bond capacity. Due to declining property values, the district had been unable to tap into the bond for additional funding. 

Designed as a two-story facility complete with recital hall, the 68,000-square-foot Fine Arts Complex features enough space to house the college's visual and performing arts programs. 

The new building will be located in an unoccupied space between the Performing Arts Center and buildings C, K and S. Construction is expected to begin by spring 2020.

Reach reporter Mathew Burciaga at 805-739-2205 or mburciaga@leecentralcoastnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @mathewburciaga

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Education Reporter

Mathew Burciaga is a Santa Maria Times reporter who covers education, agriculture and public safety. Prior to joining the Times, Mathew ran a 114-year-old community newspaper in Wyoming. He owns more than 40 pairs of crazy socks from across the globe.