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GCPS sells $211 million in bonds

SUWANEE — In the bond market, the brand name of the Gwinnett County public school district has a certain selling point to it.

That was confirmed this week when the district sold $211,300,000 in general obligation bonds that have an average maturity rate of 14 to 15 years. The Gwinnett County Board of Education approved the sale at a specially called meeting on Wednesday night. Jamie Wilson of Merchant Capital LLC, a bond underwriter, said the district’s recent Triple-A bond rating also confirmed the quality name.

“Sometimes you’re just a little bit lucky and pick your timing, Wilson said. “And we were in a really, really good week for the bond market.”

It helped that there was very little supply of bonds in Georgia, Wilson said, and there was an up draft in the market on Monday and last week.

The sale completes the $750 million bond referendum from 2008, which was to support the 2012-17 capital building program, funded in part with the bonds and a special purpose local option sales tax.

“When you think of all the grim news you’ve heard, to have all these things line up, it’s kind of the opposite of a perfect storm,” BOE Chairwoman Carole Boyce said.

CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said the district makes sure to have its financial house in order.

“It’s just better that way,” he said.