TVCC secures ‘bridge loan’ for nursing training center

ONTARIO—The Treasure Valley Community College Board voted to borrow nearly $5 million to match state funding for the construction of its Nursing and Allied Health Professions Center.

In December, the college received word that it was in line to get $3 million from a federal budget bill for a new building to house its nursing program. The college, which had received $5 million from the state for the building, was required by conditions of the state grant to match funds by Wednesday, Feb. 1. 

The cost of the project is about $11.4 million, according to Dana Young, TVCC president.  

During the board meeting on Tuesday, Jan.17 the members unanimously agreed to approve a “bridge” loan of up to $4.95 million from the Bank of Eastern Oregon should the college not be able to come up with the matching funds to secure the state dollars. 

According to Young, although the board approved the college to move forward with the loan, which would be at 8% interest, the money would only be used as a last resort to begin construction on the building. 

Abby Lee, TVCC vice president of public relations, said the board’s decision to approve the loan means the college is certifying to the state that the matching funds would be available. However, she said, the school is not obligated to use the money from the loan provided the college can come up with funds before construction begins, which is slated for January or February of 2024, according to Bernie Babcock, the project manager.

Lee said TVCC used a similar process to secure the matching funds for construction of its Career and Technical Education Center. 

“Although a bridge loan was approved for the CTE project prior to construction of that project,” the college raised the needed match, and a loan was not required.” 

Lee said the $3 million in federal funding counts toward those matching funds to the state. However, Young said it is not clear whether TVCC would receive a check for the project or wait to get reimbursed. 

In the meantime, the college is still raising money to kick off the project’s construction next year. Cathy Yasuda, executive director of the TVCC Foundation, said the college has roughly $9.2 million for the project so far. 

She said just under $8 came from the state and federal government, and about $1.4 million is from what the foundation brought in from fundraising efforts. In addition, Yasuda said the foundation has several large requests for donations. Later this month, according to Yasuda, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, a private nonprofit based in Vancouver, Washington, is slated to visit the campus.  She said the foundation put in a request for a $1 million donation from the organization and that the head of the grants department of the Murdock Charitable Trust would be meeting with a group of TVCC officials during the visit. 

In addition to the visit from the Murdock Charitable Trust and the large requests for donations, Yasuda said she thinks the college is in a great position to close the funding gap without using funds from the loan. 

“We still have work to do,” Yasuda said. “We’re still going to be fundraising. We want to build the best building that we can.”

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