PA 14-90—sSB 475

Education Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING AUTHORIZATION OF STATE GRANT COMMITMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS AND CONCERNING CHANGES TO THE STATUTES CONCERNING SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS

SUMMARY: This act authorizes the administrative services (DAS) commissioner to enter into grant commitments on behalf of the state for 21 new school construction projects. It authorizes state grants totaling $180. 7 million related to total project costs of $309. 3 million. It also reauthorizes and changes grant commitments, due to cost and scope changes, for (1) six previously authorized local projects and (2) three previously authorized technical high school projects. The reauthorizations result in a $196. 6 million increase in the state grant commitments. Furthermore, the act approves (1) various exemptions and waivers from school construction laws and (2) changes to existing authorizations. Under the state school construction grant program, the state reimburses towns and local districts for a percentage of eligible school construction costs.

The act also authorizes the DAS commissioner to (1) under certain conditions, waive the requirement that a school construction project meet the school safety infrastructure standards (SSIS) and (2) require towns and regional boards of education to perform security assessments on proposed school construction projects.

It expands the membership of the School Safety Infrastructure Council (i. e. , the “council”) by adding one member the governor appoints who must be a licensed building official. Under prior law, the council had nine members including the commissioners of administrative services, emergency services and public protection, and education.

Finally, the act makes numerous changes to transfer most of the responsibilities and duties related to the school construction grant program to DAS from the State Department of Education (SDE).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage except July 1, 2014 for the SSIS provisions.

1 — NEW AUTHORIZATIONS & PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROJECTS WITH CHANGES

Table 1 shows the new school construction projects the act authorizes. Tables 2 and 3 list changes in previously authorized school and technical high school projects. Projects with an asterisk are affected by other changes in the act (see section on notwithstanding provisions).

Table 1: New School Construction Projects Authorized

District

School

Project

Estimated

Project Costs

Estimated

Grant

State Reimbursement %

Danbury

Mill Ridge Intermediate School

Extension & alteration/

roof repair

$18,608,903

$11,762,688

63. 21%

Danbury

Park Avenue School

Extension & alteration

12,217,578

7,722,731

63. 21%

Danbury

Shelter Rock School

Extension & alteration

5,650,019

3,571,377

63. 21%

Danbury

Stadley Rough School

Extension & alteration

5,367,422

3,392,747

63. 21%

East Hampton

East Hampton High School

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

51,695,000

27,139,875

52. 5%

Fairfield

Riverfield School

Extension & alteration

14,485,766

3,828,588

26. 43%

Fairfield

Fairfield Ludlowe High School

Extension & alteration/

energy conservation/ roof replacement

11,630,700

3,073,994

26. 43%

Fairfield

Osborn Hill School

Extension & alteration, energy conservation

3,374,400

891,854

26. 43%

New Britain

Gaffney School

Extension & alteration

30,000,000

23,787,000

79. 29%

Newington

Martin Kellogg Middle School

Alteration

1,000,000

589,300

58. 93%

Newington

John Wallace Middle School

Alteration

1,000,000

589,300

58. 93%

Newington

Newington High School

Extension & alteration

1,500,000

883,950

58. 93%

Putnam

Putnam High School*

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

33,421,159

24,467,631

73. 21%

Putnam

Central Administration (Putnam High School)

Alteration/roof replacement

3,188,841

1,167,275

36. 6%

Regional District 14

Nonnewaug High School

Extension & alteration

63,820,605

30,544,542

47. 86%

Stamford

Northeast School

Alteration/

energy conservation

3,500,000

987,350

28. 21%

Stamford

Toquam School

Alteration/

roof replacement

2,550,000

719,355

28. 21%

Stamford

Westhill High School

Alteration/

energy conservation

2,075,000

585,358

28. 21%

Torrington

Forbes School

Energy conservation

300,000

225,000

75%

West Hartford

Charter Oak International Academy

Diversity school/new construction

43,274,807

34,619,846

80%

Wethersfield

Central Administration (Wethersfield H. S. )*

Alteration & renovation

652,065

165,331

25. 36%

Table 2: Previously Authorized School Construction Projects with Substantial Scope or Cost Changes

District

School

Project

Previous Grant Authorization

New Grant Authorization

Change

Berlin

Berlin High School*

Renovation/ extension

$32,974,430

$39,345,395

$6,370,965

Bridgeport

Dunbar School

Alteration/energy conservation

6,888,032

6,888,032

0

CREC

Academy of Aerospace

Magnet school/facility purchase/extension & alteration

69,343,350

77,779,807

8,436,457

New Haven

UNH Science & Engineering Magnet*

New magnet/site purchase

56,525,000

81,255,000

24,730,000

Regional District 18

Mile Creek School

Energy conservation

209,265

337,943

128,678

Weston

Weston Middle School

Energy conservation

298,981

526,830

227,849

Table 3: Previously Authorized Technical High School Construction Projects with Substantial Scope or Cost Changes

District

School

Project

Previous

Authorization

Requested

Authorization

Change

Ansonia

Emmett O'Brien

Extension/

alteration

$77,746,501

$94,315,000

$16,568,499

Groton

Ella T. Grasso

Extension/

alteration

61,479,000

134,913,000

73,434,000

Milford

Platt

Extension/

alteration

57,886,000

124,566,000

66,680,000

3 & 4 — SCHOOL SAFETY INFRASTRUCTURE STANDARDS

By law, all new school construction projects seeking a state grant, as of July 1, 2014, must meet the SSIS issued by the council. The council was formed in 2013 and charged by law with the duty of issuing the SSIS, which it did in January 2014. The act authorizes the DAS commissioner to take two new actions related to implementing this requirement.

First, the commissioner may waive the requirement to meet the SSIS if he determines that the school construction grant application demonstrates that the applicant made a good-faith effort to address the standards and that compliance with the standards would be infeasible, unreasonable, or excessively expensive.

Second, the act authorizes the commissioner to require any town or regional board of education applying for a school construction project grant to conduct a safety assessment of the project to measure compliance with the SSIS. The town or regional board must use either an assessment tool the commissioner designates or an alternative the commissioner determines provides a comparable safety and security assessment.

5-12 — TRANSFERRING SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION DUTIES TO DAS FROM SDE

The act makes numerous changes to transfer most of the responsibilities and duties related to the school construction grant program to DAS from SDE. The education commissioner keeps the responsibility to evaluate projects for compliance with certain educational requirements. The act completes a transition that began in 2011 when a number of school construction duties were transferred to the then Department of Construction Services, which has since been merged into DAS. It makes several conforming and technical changes as part of this transfer.

The act requires towns or regional school districts to submit applications for school construction grants to the DAS commissioner, rather than the education commissioner. By law, the DAS commissioner already prescribed the application form. The act removes the provision that the education commissioner forward all applications to the DAS commissioner.

Under the act, the DAS commissioner reviews each grant application for compliance with educational requirements and on the basis of school building project categories that he establishes. Under prior law, the education commissioner performed this duty and used categories the State Board of Education established.

The DAS commissioner must consult with the education commissioner regarding applications for agricultural science technology centers and cooperative regional special education facilities. The education commissioner must also evaluate whether an application will assist the state in meeting the integration goals of the Sheff v. O'Neill settlement.

The act specifies that the annual school construction priority list, already prepared by DAS, must, after January 1, 2014, include a report containing the DAS commissioner's review of the school enrollment projections for each eligible school construction project. Under prior law, the education commissioner conducted the enrollment review.

13 — SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP

The act adds the education commissioner to the School Building Projects Advisory Council. By law, the council is required to (1) develop model blueprints for new school building projects that comply with industry standards and the SSIS; (2) conduct studies, research, and analyses; and (3) make recommendations for improvements to the school building projects processes to the governor and the legislature.

PA 14-217 adds two more members to the council, both of whom are appointed by the governor (one new member must have school safety experience and the other must have State Building Code administration experience). Taken together, the acts increase the size of the council from five to eight members.

14 - 53 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION NOTWITHSTANDINGS

The act exempts specified school construction projects from various statutory and regulatory requirements to allow them to qualify for state grants or for additional grants through a higher level of reimbursement. These exemptions are referred to as “notwithstanding” provisions. Table 4 indicates the act section for each and summarizes each exemption and any applicable conditions. Different types of projects (e. g. , new construction, renovation) have different reimbursement rates.

Table 4: School Construction Nothwithstandings

Act

Municipality/ Grantee

School

Exemption, Waiver, or Other Change

47

ACES (Area Cooperative Educational Services)

Collaborative Magnet

Waives clawback of funds due to building redirection for non-magnet school purposes

30

Bloomfield

Bloomfield High School, extension and alteration, roof replacement

Waives repayment of funds by allowing enrollment figure of 714 when actual number is lower

31

Bloomfield

Carmen Arace Middle School, alteration and roof replacement

Waives repayment of funds by allowing enrollment figure of 710 when actual number is lower

32

Bloomfield

Laurel School, extension and alteration, roof replacement

Waives repayment of funds by allowing enrollment figure of 444 when actual number is lower

33

Bloomfield

Metacomet Elementary School, extension and alteration

Waives repayment of funds by allowing enrollment figure of 342 when actual number is lower

44

Bridgeport

Various

Waives repayment due for any project because of audit completed by June 30, 2013 and relieves DAS from making any further reimbursement payments on same projects

34

Clinton

Morgan School, new construction

Waives standard space specifications for the purpose of calculating the state grant

48

CREC (Capitol Region Education Council)

Museum Academy, site or site and facility acquisition

Increases project maximum costs associated with site or site and facility acquisition to $33,261,000

Waives limit on the number of times a project can be considered for a cost increase (change order)

29

East Hartford

East Hartford Middle School, alteration and energy conservation

Waives state standard space specifications and makes exterior wall construction eligible for reimbursement

46

Goodwin College

Early Childhood Magnet

Makes reimbursable cost for site acquisition by a limited liability company (LLC) for Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School, provided the LLC conveys the site to Goodwin College

Permits the conveyance to be in the form of a lease for a minimum term of 20 years

14

Hartford

Kinsella Magnet School, facility purchase and extension and alteration

Increases project cost, from $30 million to $33 million, provided application is submitted by June 30, 2015

42

Hartford

Weaver High School, alteration, roof replacement, and energy conservation

Reclassifies as a renovation project rather than an alteration, roof replacement, and energy conservation project

Exempts project from state space standards

Grants full reimbursement rate, rather than 50% of rate, for athletic facilities, gymnasium, or auditorium

50

Hartford

Kinsella Magnet School, magnet extension (separate project than Section 14)

Permits town to submit project change orders more than six months after the orders were issued and remain reimbursable provided orders approved by DAS

51

Hartford

Capital Prep Magnet School, magnet extension and alteration

Permits town to submit project change orders more than six months after the orders were issued and remain reimbursable provided orders approved by DAS

52

Hartford

Fisher Magnet School, magnet extension and alteration

Permits town to submit project change orders more than six months after the orders were issued and remain reimbursable provided orders approved by DAS

53

Hartford

Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker, magnet extension and alteration

Permits town to submit project change orders more than six months after the orders were issued and remain reimbursable provided orders approved by DAS

39

LEARN (southeast RESC)

Multicultural Magnet, extension and alteration

Makes all project costs, except interest costs, eligible for reimbursement and specifies that LEARN is responsible for paying back any grant payments for interest costs

45

Middletown

Lawrence Elementary, alteration and roof replacement

Makes reimbursable furniture and equipment costs up to $371,547

26

Montville

Montville High School, extension and alteration

Permits town to submit project change orders more than six months after the orders were issued and remain reimbursable

27

Montville

Murphy Elementary School, extension and alteration

Permits bid prior to plan approval and allows awarding bid without public invitation to bid

19

New Haven

Engineering and Science University Magnet School in West Haven (on portion of University of New Haven campus in West Haven), new magnet

Makes architectural design costs eligible for reimbursement provided reimbursement does not exceed previously authorized grant amount

20

New Haven

Bowen Field, construction of outdoor athletic facility with lighting

Modifies previous authorization so that any private, federal, or state funds New Haven receives for necessary PCB removal are deducted from total school construction grant while maintaining the remainder of the grant

21

New Haven

Strong Communications Magnet School,

Makes project eligible for state aid provided costs do not exceed $45 million, application is submitted by June 30, 2015, and is otherwise eligible

22

New Haven

John C. Daniels School, new construction

Allows DAS commissioner, under his waiver authority, to make certain costs eligible for reimbursement

22

New Haven

Beecher School, extension and alteration

Allows DAS commissioner, under his waiver authority, to make certain costs eligible for reimbursement

36

New London

Nathan Hale Magnet School, extension and alteration

Permits bid and awarding of contract project prior to plan approval for rooftop equipment, chiller enclosure, and PCB removal provided plans and specifications receive DAS approval and removes the limit on the reimbursement for increases in project cost due to change orders

37

New London

Magnet district

Removes the (1) limit on the number of schools the education commissioner can designate as magnets and (2) $10 million limit on bonus grant amount to be received for magnets

38

New London

New London Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts, new magnet construction

Makes project eligible for state aid provided costs do not exceed $31 million, application is submitted by June 30,2015, and is otherwise eligible

Requires memorandum of understanding between New London Board of Education, Garde Arts Center Board of Directors, and commissioners of education and administrative services establishing how the school will operate as a interdistrict magnet school

Permits New London to use public or private grant funds as the local share of the project costs with no decrease to the school construction grant

Makes cost for school construction at Garde Arts Center eligible for school construction reimbursement

Exempts project from standard space specifications

16

Norwich

Kelly Middle School, renovation and extension

Modifies existing authorization by:

Increasing project maximum cost to $41,250,000

permitting town to enter into contract for and issue bonds that exceed the town's approved appropriations but by no more than $1 million provided the city council approves the additional appropriation by June 30, 2015

35

Plainville

Linden School, extension and alteration

Modifies project scope to include and make eligible for reimbursement demolition costs of no more than $2. 4 million

40

Putnam

Central administration at Putnam High School

Makes reimbursement rate 73. 21% for project on the 2014 priority list (central administration)

18

Rocky Hill

Rocky Hill High School, extension and alteration, roof replacement

Modifies existing authorization by:

increasing overall project cost to $50 million

permitting town to enter into contract for or issue bonds that exceed the town's approved appropriation for the project, but by no more than $5,045,000 provided town council approves the additional appropriation by June 30,2015

23

Shelton

Shelton Intermediate School, new construction

Waives repayment of funds for site acquisition grant

25

Union

Union Elementary School, new construction

Waives public invitation to bid requirement, allows offsite improvements to be reimbursable, and permits change orders submitted on or before January 11, 2011 to be reimbursable

43

West Hartford

Charter Oak International Academy, new construction

Waives square feet per pupil standard and permits 86,877 square feet as the maximum footage for calculating eligible costs for reimbursement

28

West Haven

West Haven High School, extension and alteration

Authorizes increased project cost to $132,639,000

24

Weston

New Intermediate School, new construction

Waives repayment of funds by allows enrollment figure of 726 when actual number is lower

17

Wethersfield

Wethersfield High School, renovation and extension

Modifies existing authorization by

increasing overall project cost to $83,794,709

permitting town to enter into contract for or issue bonds that exceed the town's approved appropriation, but by no more than $10 million provided town council approves the additional appropriation by June 30,2015

41

Windham

Windham Magnet (Barrows School), new construction magnet

Waives limit on the number of times a project can be considered for a cost increase (change order)

Authorizes cost increase to provide expanded furniture, furnishings, equipment, and technology equipment, provided local legislative approval of the local cost share is submitted by June 30, 2014 and the revised total cost does not exceed $42 million

49

Windsor Locks

Windsor Locks High School, alteration

Waives repayment of funds by allowing enrollment figure of 600 when actual number is lower

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