“The Southeast Ohio Classical Academy board of directors, school leader and broader founding team have been delighted to work with HJ Sims on financing the first ever classical charter school in Appalachian Ohio. It is a treasure to work with a team that catches your mission and vision and is supportive throughout the thorough process of putting together bond financing. Kaiti and Rob were patient, considerate, and wise through every bump in the road. Because of their efforts, we will be able to breathe life into an older school building that will once again boast beautiful hallways full of joyful scholars. I should not fail to mention that they were also kind, prompt and attentive – virtues which our team values highly and did not go unnoticed. We are so grateful for this partnership and highly recommend the services of HJ Sims et al.”
-Kimberly Vandlen, Board Chair of Southeast Ohio Classical Academy (SOCA)
The Southeast Ohio Classical Academy (SOCA) is a new public charter school opening in fall 2024 in Logan, Ohio, which is the county seat of Hocking County and adjacent to Athens County. Granted a 5-year charter by its authorizer St. Aloysius, SOCA plans to open with 280 students in kindergarten to 6th grades and grow to 520 students in K-12 grades by 2030-31. SOCA will provide a content-rich classical curriculum as a Hillsdale Member School.
The Series 2023 Bond proceeds of $5.295 million were used to fund the purchase and capital upgrades to school property, as well as provide pre-start working capital to cover cash flow needs.
The debt service reserve fund was funded to equal roughly three months of interest.
The tax-exempt bond proceeds funded the acquisition of property, capital expenditures, refinancing of a portion of a bridge loan, working capital, a portion of the debt service reserve fund and capitalized interest, and limited costs of issuance. The taxable bond proceeds funded primarily working capital, refinancing of a bridge loan, a portion of the debt service reserve fund and capitalized interest, and the remaining costs of issuance.
The Series 2023 Bonds for SOCA was the first ever public sale limited offering of a start-up charter school. The bonds were sold to accredited investors during the retail order period utilizing HJ Sims’ retail network.
HJ Sims further supported the deal by underwriting a balance of over $1 million, eventually to be sold to retail as well.
The tax-exempt bonds have a 7.5% coupon at par and the taxable bonds have a 10% coupon at par. The final maturity for both series is in 2030.
The call option at 101% starting 12/15/2025, declining to par by 12/15/2026, will allow SOCA to refinance the Series 2023 Bonds along with new money financing in 2027 to construct a second phase to add high school space and more.
On November 30, 2023, HJ Sims successfully closed on the $5.295 million Series 2023 Bonds.
The Southeast Ohio Classical Academy will move into its new campus and start educating students at the start of the 2024-25 school year.
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