Keuka College secures $ 11 million federal loan
USDA-Rural Development loan will be used to purchase Keuka Commons, generating substantial savings for the college
KEUKA PARK – Keuka College has received some long-awaited good news; After a comprehensive review of the college’s financial stability, the US Department of Agriculture approved a community rural development facility loan to the college worth more than $ 11 million.
The approval, which closes an application process of more than two years, is accompanied by a letter of conditions requiring the college to meet a number of obligations before the loan is granted.
“This good news couldn’t come at a better time,” said university president Amy Storey. “The pandemic has created all kinds of new challenges for our region. The College has done its best to meet these challenges and this loan will help us continue on this path. The lower interest rates offered by this federal loan will save the College over $ 20 million over the next 30 years.
President Storey said the funds would be used to purchase Keuka Commons, the 28,000 square foot multi-use complex located at the corner of Assembly and Central avenues. The college now rents the building, which opened in 2016 and houses the bookstore, the college’s health and wellness center, classrooms, offices, the Wolf Den Café, and other facilities.
She added that part of the loan would also be used to pay off two smaller debts, thus achieving additional interest savings.
The loan won’t close until the college meets dozens of requirements, said Robert Baumet, the college’s vice president of finance and administration.
“There are 35 conditions, some of which have multiple categories,” he said, citing the obligation to issue tax bonds to secure the loan as an example. He said he did not foresee any difficulty in fulfilling the conditions, a process he said will take months. “The College will probably have the loan in hand by the fall,” Baumet predicted.
Obtaining such a large loan is no easy task. The college began the process in late 2018 and went through a lengthy approval process with Department of Agriculture officials in New York and Washington, DC.Many supporting documents, financial statements, and institutional responses were required.
“We were confident that we had presented a solid and compelling case,” said Storey, who praised Baumet and College Controller Phil Catalano for their efforts in overseeing the application process. “We were hoping for a quick turnaround when we filed the initial application in late 2018. However, more than two years later, the financial flexibility this loan will provide Keuka College is still both timely and beneficial.”