Molloy College gets preliminary OK for tax-exempt bonds to build new residence hall

Final authorization needed after public hearing slated for Sept. 10


Molloy College is one step closer to securing bonds to begin constructing a new residence hall on its campus in Rockville Centre.

The Town of Hempstead Local Development Corporation gave preliminary authorization last week to sell $15 million in tax-exempt bonds to go toward completing Molloy’s $20.5 million Phase 3 campus master plan, including the construction of a 27,000-square-foot dormitory.

The LDC, which provides low-interest, tax-exempt bonds to not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, civic entities or charitable organizations within the town, gave its initial consent for the bond sale at its Aug. 23 board meeting. Final authorization and a public hearing — slated for Sept. 10 at 9:30 a.m. at 350 Front St. in Hempstead — are required, as well as the approval of Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, a Rockville Centre Democrat.

The three-story building, to be built near Molloy’s south gate entrance, would be the third residence hall on campus and would house about 95 students. About 250 students currently live on campus, according to Jacquelyn Rath, a Molloy spokeswoman.

Edward Thompson, Molloy’s vice president for advancement, said that demand for the on-campus experience led to the plans for a new residence hall.

“We have had great success creating a vibrant on campus culture and many Long Island students enjoy the option of living on campus while being close to home,” Thompson said in a statement. “Additionally, we have seen a large increase in interest from students around the country.”

Other planned construction, including the expansion of a kitchen area in the college’s public square building and about 75 parking spaces to support the proposed additions, will not require bond proceeds. The site is currently a parking lot and green space.

The LDC previously partnered with Molloy to allow the college to obtain low-interest financing through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, including a bond sale last year to refinance previously issued debt and a bond sale in 2009 to construct new dorms and other facilities on the college’s nearly 24-acre campus.

“There is no doubt that the sale of these new bonds, once final, will have a great impact on Molloy College as well as on the economics of the surrounding communities,” said Fred Parola, executive director of the LDC.

The bonds are to be repaid by Molloy and are secured by a first-mortgage lien on the land and building, according to an LDC news release, and there is no out-of-pocket expense to Town of Hempstead taxpayers.