Georgia sells more than $1 billion in bonds for host of state construction projects

The state announced Thursday that it sold $1.133 billion in bonds for construction, equipment and repair projects across Georgia in the next year.

The money for the projects was approved by the General Assembly in June when it passed the budget for fiscal 2021.

Georgia has maintained a top bond rating for decades, so it pays lower interest rates on what it borrows than most other states. And traditionally, during a recession such as the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the state borrows big to create and maintain construction jobs.

Officials said the state will pay a record-low interest rate to pay off the bonds.

“I am incredibly proud of our state’s fiscal responsibility and efficient use of taxpayer resources,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement. “This very successful bond sale allows us to continue to invest in critical renovations and repairs of capital projects all across the Peach State, ensuring previous investment’s in the state’s existing facilities are preserved and that the facilities continue to meet both current and future needs of citizens, support economic growth, and provide job opportunities within Georgia’s construction industry.”

The biggest chunk of the borrowing — about $780 million — will go for k-12, university and technical college projects, such as new schools and campus buildings, equipment for facilities already built, and new school buses.

The Department of Transportation is getting more than $152 million for roads, bridges and rail projects.

“Providing state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to educate Georgia’s elementary, secondary, and higher education students is an important component of preparing children and young adults for future employment opportunities,” Kemp said. “Additionally, by maintaining the state’s existing infrastructure facilities and renovating them to meet the needs of tomorrow, we can ensure that those facilities contribute to our state’s long-term prosperity and that prior investments were made well.”

Among local projects are:

  • $34.8 million for the expansion of Building 100 at Gwinnett Technical College
  • $20.08 million to build a new conference center at Lake Lanier Island
  • $13.1 million for new Georgia State Patrol vehicles
  • $12 million for infrastructure improvements at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
  • $8.5 million to upgrade elevators on Capitol Hill
  • $6.72 million to buy land, design and build the Center for Education and Entrepreneurship at Southern Crescent Technical College in McDonough
  • $4.8 million to design, build and equip the dental hygiene teaching lab at Georgia State University's Dunwoody campus
  • $3.4 million to build and equip a new commercial driver's license testing center in Douglasville
  • $3 million for equipment at the academic learning center at Kennesaw State University
  • $2.3 million for equipment for the renovation of Lanier Tech's Oakwood campus
  • $2.25 million for renovations at the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center at the Chattahoochee Technical College campus in Marietta
  • $2 million to design, build and equip the Hickory Flat Library in Cherokee County
  • $2 million to design, build and equip a chemistry lab at Kennesaw State University
  • $2 million to design, construct and equip the Fowler Road Library in Cumming
  • $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements at Clayton State University

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