MassDevelopment Bonds Help Expand Berkshires Educational Center
PITTSFIELD — MassDevelopment has issued $9 million in tax-exempt and taxable bonds on behalf of Hillcrest Educational Centers Inc., a Pittsfield-based nonprofit that provides clinical, psychological, and special education services to children, adolescents, and families in Berkshire County and the northeast. The organization is using bond proceeds to build a 5,000-square-foot dormitory building, demolish an existing dormitory building, and build a 10,000-square-foot academic building to accommodate increased enrollment in Hillcrest’s Autism Spectrum Disorders Program. Bond proceeds will also refinance previous debt. MassDevelopment enhanced the financing with a mortgage-insurance guarantee. Berkshire Bank purchased the bonds. “This low-cost financing will help Hillcrest provide more options for students seeking clinical, psychological, and special education services,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Human service agencies are vital to the Commonwealth’s citizens and economy, and we’re pleased to support their capital projects from Boston to the Berkshires.” Founded in 1985, Hillcrest provides educational and residential treatment programs for students with complex psychiatric, behavioral, or developmental disorders. The organization serves up to 150 students a year from Berkshire County and the northeast and is nationally recognized for working with difficult students who have been turned down by group homes and institutions. “Through the years, Hillcrest has collaborated with MassDevelopment to secure financing that has allowed the organization to maintain a sound infrastructure by enhancing and expanding the facilities at its various locations,” said Hillcrest Chief Financial Officer Mark A. Placido. “The projects, past and future, are vital to addressing the programming needs of the students we serve.” MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.