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CEDA Closes $55 Million Tax-Exempt Loan with Orange County School of the Arts The Legacy Fund

CEDA Closes $55 Million Tax-Exempt Loan with Orange County School of the Arts The Legacy Fund


August 2016—The California Enterprise Development Authority (CEDA) is proud to serve as issuer in the recent financial deal closing with nationally-recognized charter school, Orange County School of the Arts, and its supporter, The Legacy Fund.

Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) is a public charter school located in Santa Ana, California.  OCSA was established in 1987 and currently serves more than 2,100 students in grades 7 through 12 from more than 100 cities throughout Southern California. It is one of the largest single-campus public charter schools in the country and has been the recipient of many national and regional awards for its academic excellence and arts conservatory programs. OCSA offers one of the county’s top college preparatory programs as well as training in 14 pre-professional arts conservatories within the Schools of Applied Arts, Dance, Fine and Media Arts, Music, and Theatre. As a public charter school, OCSA is tuition free, donation dependent, and is accessible to students from all backgrounds.

The Legacy Fund is a California non-profit public benefit corporation that owns the facilities which are leased on a long-term basis to OCSA. Both organizations played an integral part in Santa Ana’s downtown revitalization, further demonstrating their contributions to the community. OCSA’s and The Legacy Fund’s deals with CEDA have the shared purpose of advancing OCSA’s mission—the combined $55 million tax-exempt financing and refinancing of costs related to construction and improvements of the educational facilities will result in savings that OCSA can put back into its operations and enhance its programs.

Santa Ana Mayor, Miguel Pulido remarked on the school, “With state-of-the-art dance, music and science facilities, Santa Ana is proud to be home to Orange County’s premier arts school. OCSA’s dynamic faculty and staff provides student-artists with a world-class arts and academic education each year. This tax-exempt financing will help further OCSA’s investments in our community and youth.”

“Educational institutions, such as charter schools, provide significant social and economic contributions to their local community through the educational services they offer and the jobs they directly create and those indirectly created through their consumption activities. CEDA is proud to be the issuer for the tax-exempt financing that supports Orange County School of the Arts’ noteworthy programs,” said Gurbax Sahota, President and CEO of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).  CALED is the professional economic development organization that created CEDA to expand economic development financing opportunities and maximize availability of capital for businesses.  CEDA offers tax-exempt financing for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and small- to medium-sized manufacturers as well as PACE financing.

Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M), who served as the bank in this project, is one of the oldest and strongest financial institutions in California, with over $6 billion in assets and one of the top 150 banks in the US, and is a strong supporter of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt financing.  F&M Senior Vice President and bank representative on this deal, Jeff Spinelli, says “Going back over 100 years, F&M Bank has been dedicated to supporting California’s strongest fine arts, culture, and education — so it gives us special pleasure to be able to help OCSA and Legacy continue their important work.”

“The opportunity to refinance our facilities through 501(c)(3) tax-exempt financing is a great investment in our student-artists and the Orange County community,” said Dr. Ralph Opacic, founder and executive director of the Orange County School of the Arts. “Tax-exempt financing has proven long-term benefits for local non-profits which enables our organization to continue enriching thousands of lives through the arts and academics.  OCSA and Legacy Fund representatives were pleased to work with the CEDA financing team to implement this significant project in a timely fashion.”

About CEDA:  In 2006, CALED established CEDA, a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), to address gaps in Economic Development financing.   CEDA is committed to providing alternative financing options to manufacturers, 501(c)3 non-profits, and California communities, with the ultimate mission of supporting economic development.  To learn more about CEDA, please visit its web site at