Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc., gets $9 million from MassDevelopment


PITTSFIELD -- Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc., has been issued $9 million in tax exempt and taxable bonds to expand and potentially increase enrollment at the South Street-based organization.

The bonds were issued by MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, according to spokeswoman Kelsey Abbruzzese.

Hillcrest plans to use the bond proceeds to build a 5,000-square-foot dormitory building, demolish an existing dorm, and build a 10,000 square-foot academic building, according to Mark A. Placido, Hillcrest's CFO.

The academic building will accommodate increased enrollment in Hillcrest's Autism Spectrum Disorders Program. Hillcrest's ASD Residential Program provides highly specialized day and intensive residential treatment for children and adolescents at all levels of the autism spectrum.

Placido added that bond proceeds will also refinance previous debt.

MassDevelopment enhanced the financing with a mortgage insurance guarantee. Berkshire Bank purchased the bonds.

"This low-cost financing will help Hillcrest provide more options for students seeking clinical, psychological and special education services," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "Human service agencies are vital to the Commonwealth and we're pleased to support their capital projects."

Founded in 1985, Hillcrest provides educational and residential treatment programs for students with complex psychiatric, behavioral and developmental disorders. Hillcrest serves about 150 students annually from Berkshire County and the Northeast.

Hillcrest has worked with MassDevelopment to secure financing for several infrastructure projects, said Placido.

MassDevelopment works with businesses, nonprofits, and financial institutions to stimulate economic growth across the state.


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