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MassDevelopment Bond Helps Elms College Renovate Residence and Admissions Buildings

January 5, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
John M. Guimond, Elms College, 413-265-2294 & 413-348-7109

MassDevelopment has issued $4.95 million in tax-exempt bonds on behalf of the Trustees of the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee. The College will use bond proceeds to improve the O'Leary Residence Hall, which houses 140 students, and renovate the Spaulding House admissions center. O'Leary Hall was built in 1932; Spaulding House was built around 1890 and acquired by the college in 1930 and has received recognition from the Chicopee Historical Society as a significant structure. Several banks – Chicopee Savings Bank, United Bank, Hampden Bank, New Alliance Bank, Peoples Bank, and Westfield Bank – purchased the bonds.

“MassDevelopment takes great pride in partnering with many of the Commonwealth's small colleges to help them expand facilities and services,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. “Elms College has a long and prominent history in Chicopee, a critical Gateway City that saw several projects start in the last year, and we're pleased this financing will help the school care for its historic buildings.”

Bond proceeds will also upgrade campus technology infrastructure and refinance a previous bank loan and a bond. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Elms College is a co-educational Catholic liberal arts college that serves about 1,400 students in undergraduate and masters' level programs in Chicopee.

“We are delighted to enter into this partnership with MassDevelopment and our local financial institutions,” said Elms College President Sister Mary Reap. “This is the second major renovation the college has undertaken in the past year to improve campus life for our students. Last year, the Mary Dooley College Center dining facility was completely renovated. We continue to look at ways the college, often in partnership with others, can improve the educational opportunities for the students we serve — students who have, by and large, come from Massachusetts and who stay in Massachusetts once they graduate.”

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2010, MassDevelopment financed or managed 238 projects in 104 communities across the state generating investment of nearly $1.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy.