Deerfield Academy, whose students have included David H. Koch and King Abdullah of Jordan, is issuing $89 million in BONDS to renovate its dining room
- The Massachusetts school insists it only needs “bridge funding” before donors help
- The bond issue is expected to double the debt of the 226-year-old school, whose alumni include members of the royal family and heirs
- The highly exclusive institution has endowments of $791 million and charges fees of up to $68,230 per year
An ultra-elite prep school in Massachusetts is issuing $89 million of its own bonds to give its students a “one-of-a-kind” dining experience.
And while Wall Street might think lunch is for wimps, north of Springfield, Deerfield Academy is hoping its hungry investors will help renovate its dining room.
The school, whose alumni include billionaire David H. Koch and King Abdullah II of Jordan, says its new facility will “support the Academy’s traditional seated dining experience, which is unique today.”
“The Academy believes sit-ins are an important community strengthening opportunity,” it tells investors in its prospectus.
“Day students attend all lunches and are encouraged to stay for dinner.”
Deerfield Academy, 100 miles west of Boston, is trying its hand at a bond market typically reserved for local government
Famous alumni including billionaire David H. Koch (left) and King Abdullah II of Jordan (right)
Trying to get into the municipal bond market is more often the domain of public school boards or local authorities, and the venture looks set to double the debt burden of the 226-year-old private school.
But it also has $791 million in endowments, ranking it among the top 100 wealthiest U.S. colleges, and receives an average of $48 million a year from donors and grateful alumni.
The school, which has students of 48 nationalities, said it viewed the bond agreement as “bridging funding pending the expected receipt of campaign funds for these projects.”
Koch, who made a fortune in the family business after leaving Deerfield in 1959, bears his name on a wing housing the math and science departments and a planetarium with an ‘astronomy viewing deck’.
The school, for grades nine through twelve, has 652 students and tuition is US$68,230 for boarders and US$48,950 for those who go home for dinner.
And that’s before the $1,250 “academic services” fee, the $880 technology fee, including a new laptop, and the $540 health center fee.
Nearly a quarter of graduates made it to an Ivy League college or university last year, and 20 percent did in the last five years of college.
The current dining room will be replaced as part of an $89 million renovation project
Students are expected to wait at tables and help in the kitchen when not enjoying the ‘unique’ dining experience
The school says its disrupted guests will be accommodated in a new makeshift facility while the dining room is remodeled to accommodate more students with an upgraded kitchen, serving and storage areas.
Investors will also fund improvements to the tennis pavilion and a multi-sport athletics complex to support activities that will be displaced by the construction.
The school’s website tells parents that “family meals” are served seven times a week while students take turns waiting at tables and “doing other kitchen chores.”
The students are moved back and forth between the tables every three weeks, “which allows them to get to know different fellow students and faculty members better in a relaxed atmosphere”.