Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville is a county in South Carolina that a serious problem with school faciltiies. The buildings that were already in place were outdated and inadequate to meet students needs, and the population was growing. Due to the debt limits placed on the local school board, the school district could only complete a handful of projects in any given year that did not allow for any real progress to be made in dealing with the problem. After several attempts to create a comprehensive building plan and realizing that the need far out paced the ability of the district to finance projects, the school board began to look for "out of the box" solutions. That is when a core group of community and business leaders developed a plan to leverage their existing stream of revenue for school construction for a large scale construction plan. The Building Equity Sooner for Tommorrow School Construction Program (BEST) was able to build 70 new schools in just over 6 years while realizing significant savings from economies of scale and aviodance of rising construction and material costs. (To read more about the program click here).
In July of 2012 Brent Jeffcoat, the bond attorney involved in the Greenville schools transformation, vistited Baltimore to explain what the issues were in Greenville and how BEST allowed the county to provide modern, safe, and efficient buildings for all of its students. Watch the clip below for a summary of Greenville.
Mr. Jeffcoat also explained how the financing worked in Greenville and why leveraging revenue now is a smarter use of our money. Watch the clip below as Mr. Jeffcoat explains how leveraging funding is similar to taking a mortage out for your home.
To learn more check out these resources below!
Innovative Finacial Plan Pushes Greenville Schools Ahead (Engineering News-Record, November 13, 2006)
Billion dollar project completed (journal watchdog, May 23, 2011)
Building on the Installment Plan (W.D. Herlong, Fmr. Greenville School Board Member)