Overview of the Massachusetts State College Building Authority

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of the Massachusetts State College Building Authority.

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The Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA) was established under Chapter 703 of the Acts of 1963. This statute authorizes MSCBA to finance and oversee the design and construction of dormitories, dining facilities, and certain other buildings at 9 state universities1 and 15 community colleges.2 The financing and oversight are subject to written approval from the Secretary of Administration and Finance and the Commissioner of Higher Education for Massachusetts. MSCBA is also authorized to issue bonds and collect student rents and fees for the operation of student living facilities. MSCBA uses its rental and fee income to service the debt it incurs to finance its projects.

MSCBA is governed by a nine-member board appointed by the Governor; three members of the board must also be members of the state’s Board of Higher Education. MSCBA’s financial powers and functions are established by its enabling legislation, and it is also governed by various state procurement laws and regulations; the trust agreements for all of its bond issues; and the contract for financial assistance between it and the Board of Higher Education, which acts on behalf of the state colleges and universities served by MSCBA. Further, the Secretary of Administration and Finance and the State Treasurer must approve the sale of all bonds and notes issued by MSCBA to fund its projects. MSCBA’s board appoints an executive director, who is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of MSCBA.

The Commonwealth does not appropriate any state funding to MSCBA, nor does it guarantee the bonds issued by MSCBA for its building projects. According to its fiscal year 2017 audit report by an external auditor, MSCBA’s principal amount of outstanding bond debt as of June 30, 2017 was $1.23 billion, and for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017, MSCBA spent $34,246,013 on land, construction, buildings and improvements, and furnishings and equipment for MSCBA capital assets located at universities and community colleges.

1.    The state universities are Bridgewater, Fitchburg, Framingham, Salem, Westfield, and Worcester, as well as Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

2.    The community colleges are Berkshire, Bristol, Bunker Hill, Cape Cod, Greenfield, Holyoke, Massachusetts Bay, Massasoit, Middlesex, Mount Wachusett, North Shore, Northern Essex, Quinsigamond, Roxbury, and Springfield Technical.

Date published: March 12, 2019

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