Bethune-Cookman Resolves Multi-Million Dollar Dorm Debt

A controversial dorm deal that forced a turnover in executive leadership, sanctions from its accreditor, and criticism from stakeholders, has been resolved at Bethune-Cookman University.

Officials at the school today announced the securing of a federal loan to retire the construction deal and a price tag that had an estimated long-term obligation of more than $300 million.

The $108 million loan obtained through the U.S. Department of Education’s HBCU Capital Financing Program will pay off the total balance of the 1,200 room residence hall which opened in 2016, but drew attention for construction cost overruns, allegations of forged executive signatures, increased tuition and fees for students.

“Ending this deal marks the dawn of a new beginning for B-CU giving the entire university community and its stakeholders confidence in the future, which now burns very bright,” said BCU Board Chair Belvin Perry.

According to the release, the funds will also support renovations and improvements for other campus facilities. The loan should also have a positive impact on the university’s bond rating, which was upgraded last December due in part to a $15.7 million bond investment in the school by the Florida Higher Educational Facilities Financing Authority.

“The strategic thought process and actual execution completed by this team of university executives are nothing short of remarkable,” BCU Interim President Hiram Powell said. “This ends what has been a terrible ordeal and repositions B-CU on a new and positive path for everyone.”