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NORMAL — The Illinois State University board of trustees issued $60 million in bonds Saturday to refinance debt and acquire the Cardinal Court housing complex, with an eye toward savings related to proposed changes in federal tax law.

The decision, made during a special meeting, allows the university to maintain tax-exempt debt status on the new bonds. Total cash flow savings are estimated at least $24 million over the life of the new bonds.

The university was planning to issue new bonds next year to refinance debt on the Cardinal Court project and the Student Fitness Center. Facilities in the auxiliary facilities system were constructed with proceeds from revenue bonds or produce revenue used to operate and maintain auxiliary facilities. The money can be used only for paying off outstanding revenue bonds or operating and maintaining auxiliary facilities.

The Cardinal Court student apartment complex was built in 2012 as a public-private partnership.