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Bonds sold for Alliance Academy

The Public Facilities Authority has completed its first project, which will fund construction for a new career-focused high school in Forsyth County.

On Thursday, the authority vote 4-0, with member Richard Ward absent, to approve a supplemental bond resolution, which included the final terms of the bond, to fund construction of the Alliance Academy for Innovation of Cumming-Forsyth County, which is set to open in fall 2018.

The bonds have been sold and the closing formal will take place on July 28, which will be the day the school receives funds. The sale will mean about $30 million can be used for construction of the campus on Lanier 400 Parkway in Cumming.

“The bonds were so highly rated we had 24 different buyers,” said Bryce Holcomb, a CitiGroup investment banker who often works with the county. “It was a who’s who of the buyers in the marketplace, so it speaks highly to the schools’ credit and [the county’s] good name. When a bond is sold with [Forsyth County’s] name on it, they’re usually very highly rated … the market takes note.”

A vehicle for funding construction of public facilities, the authority can enter leases, contracts or other agreements, as well as issue bonds for county building purposes.

The school’s construction is the first project approved by the authority, which was established in 2008 by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue and the state legislature, though it did not have appointed members until 2011.

The school will sit on 23 acres off Ga. 400, the land for which was purchased from the city of Cumming by the Forsyth County Board of Education.

The school will focus on high-demand, high-growth, high-wage careers and will partner with local universities and businesses to offer training and certification in a dual-enrollment-style system.

Since many of the programs require three years to complete, the school will only be open to freshmen and sophomores during the first year.
It is expected that the school will enroll about 1,200 by its fifth year.