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Metro Board Sells Millions in Bonds to Support Belmont Expansion

Construction on the Thomas F. Frist Jr., College of Medicine, Luke Ayers

Belmont University doubled its debt to fund several campus initiatives including a new 719-bed residence hall and to further fund the Thomas F. Frist Jr., College of Medicine, according to a recent Bloomberg article.

“Belmont University continues to prioritize student success, and research indicates that living in a residence hall has a positive impact on degree completion,” said April Hefner, assistant vice president for marketing and communications in a written response.

The board approved the sale of $187.5 million in municipal bonds on Belmont’s behalf, according to its meeting agenda. A municipal bond is a debt obligation issued by a government entity - in this case, the Health and Educational Facilities Board.

The new dorm is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025 to meet the demand for on-campus living.

“This residence hall will allow students to enjoy the University’s vibrant campus life and keep them near all the activities and opportunities to be found in Nashville’s metropolitan core, where the cost of living continues to rise,” Hefner said.

The new medical school, located on Wedgewood Avenue, is expected to be finished in the spring of 2024.

The request for funding is not the first time Belmont approached the board for financing.

In 2021, the university requested $142 million to support the construction of Caldwell Hall, the expansion of Thrailkill Garage, an addition of a debt service reserve fund and to pay certain accumulated expenses, according to the board’s minutes on Aug. 30, 2021.

The university applied for another loan from the board in 2012, which helped fund the construction of Dickens and Horrell halls and a 562-car underground parking garage, according to the board’s minutes on Aug. 30, 2021.

The most recent bond agreement terms include a 30-year annual payback plan.

Despite the recent added debt and a 10-year average of 25.3% admitted freshmen yield, the university is optimistic about its investments in growth, saying that payments are “well within the financial means and forecasts of the university’s operating budget.”


This article was written by Tessa Pendleton.

This article was corrected for accuracy.

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