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The Wayne State University Board of Governors agreed Friday to issue $129 million in bonds to help finance several construction projects at the school, including the Mike Ilitch School of Business in District Detroit.

William Decatur, vice president and president of the finance and business operations at Wayne State, made a pitch for the bonds, saying the school’s credit rating is good and economic conditions are favorable for bond sales.

“Interest rates remain at historically low levels, and the financial market environment is favorable regarding new bond issues,” according to a letter from Decatur to the Board of Governors.

“Wayne State University’s credit ratings are in line with its peers,” he wrote.

Decatur said the school plans to use the bond proceeds “to advance nine capital projects over the next 12 months.”

Among them:

--Construction, renovation and expansion of the Hilberry Theatre, at a cost of $65 million. Of that amount, the bonds will cover $55 million, with the rest funded by private gifts.

--Construction of the business school, a four-floor facility to include about 120,000 square feet and cost $59 million. Of that amount, the bonds will cover $18 million, with the rest funded by private gifts.

--Renovating the Science and Engineering Library at a cost of $40 million. Of that amount, the bonds will cover $25.5 million, with the rest funded through state appropriation.

The bonds project is already receiving high marks from students like Bekah Zielesch, a senior studying pre-medicine and who uses the STEM facilities.

“The (expansion) would be a good idea,” Zielesch said Friday as she scurried across campus. “It would definitely have a lot more benefits. (The expansion) would promote more people to go there.”

Zielesch said the facilities could use upgrades and more space.

“It would be nicer and ... more functional,” she added.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

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