State Aids Expansion at St. Mark’s School in Southborough
November 1, 2012 : The MetroWest Daily News, by Brad Petrishen
SOUTHBOROUGH – The state’s finance and development agency this week announced that it is helping St. Mark's School secure a lower interest rate on its financing of $15 million for ongoing expansions.
MassDevelopment, which works with public and private organizations to stimulate economic development, issued a $15 million bond for new debt and helped the school refinance $20 million in existing debt at a lower rate, St. Mark’s Chief Financial Officer Bob Meyer said.
MassDevelopment spokeswoman Kelsey Abbruzzese said the agency acts as a conduit between organizations eligible for its help under the tax code and banks purchasing their debt.
MassDevelopment is able to make the debt exempt of federal taxes, which allows the bank which purchases the debt – in this case Boston Bank – to offer a lower interest rate to St. Mark’s during repayment.
St. Mark’s has received help from MassDevelopment in the past, Abbruzzese said, as have a number of other private schools in the state.
“We greatly appreciate the opportunity, which MassDevelopment allows, for St. Mark’s to upgrade the teaching and learning and administrative spaces in our main building,” Head of School John Warren said in a press release.
Meyer said the school has not calculated exactly how much it anticipates saving, and Abbruzzese said she could not give the amount out by law.
St. Mark’s is in the middle of an $8.5 million renovation of its main building aimed at aligning the physical plant with future educational goals.
The school in August announced a $5 million private grant toward the project, which arose from the school's first-ever comprehensive strategic improvement plan.
The outside of the building will not change much, but 12,500 square feet inside will be reconfigured, to better aid modern teaching and learning.
Meyer said he expects the renovations to be completed by April. He said the school is planning an additional project for roughly $6.5 million to renovate and reconstruct a portion of its science building as part of the school's emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math.
The earliest construction would start on that project would likely be next summer, he said.
Founded in 1865, St. Mark’s is a private co-ed high school affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It houses about 350 boarding and day students.
© Copyright 2012 The MetroWest Daily News.