PA 18-138—SB 184

Education Committee

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

SUMMARY: This act authorizes 19 school construction grants totaling $240 million toward total project costs of $485.5 million. It (1) increases, due to cost and scope changes, an existing grant commitment by $32 million for a previously authorized project and (2) provides additional funding, of up to $73.5 million, for other projects by waiving certain rules and statutes.

Under the state school construction grant program, the state reimburses towns and local districts for a percentage of eligible school construction costs (with less wealthy towns receiving a higher reimbursement percentage). The town pays the remaining costs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except the provision about school building project managers is effective July 1, 2018.

1 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION GRANT COMMITMENTS

New Projects

Table 1 below shows the district, school, project, cost and estimated grants for each of the 19 new projects.

Table 1: New School Construction Grant Commitments

District

School

Project

Estimated Project Costs

Estimated Grant

State Reimbursement %

Berlin

Richard D. Hubbard School

Alteration

$172,712

$78,342

45.36%

Berlin

Mary E. Griswold School

Alteration

$140,966

$63,942

45.36%

Berlin

Emma Hart Willard School

Alteration

$179,441

$81,394

45.36%

Berlin

Catherine M. McGee Middle School

Alteration

$193,890

$87,949

45.36%

Bethel

Anna H. Rockwell School

Renovation

$24,723,432

$11,125,544

45.00%

Bethel

Ralph M.T. Johnson

Renovation

$41,107,711

$18,498,470

45.00%

East Lyme

Flanders School

Alteration, roof replacement, code violation

$12,099,088

$5,401,033

44.64%

East Lyme

Niantic Center School

Alteration, energy conservation, code violations

$10,405,068

$4,644,822

44.64%

East Lyme

Lillie B. Haynes School

Alteration, energy conservation, code violations

$14,995,844

$6,694,145

44.64%

Middletown

Woodrow Wilson Middle School

New construction

$87,500,000

$49,376,250

56.43%

Norwalk

Ponus Ridge Middle School

Extension/ alteration, code violations

$43,348,333

$14,395,981

33.21%

Oxford

Oxford Middle School

New construction

$44,900,000

$13,631,640

30.36%

South Windsor

Eli Terry Elementary School

New construction

$37,419,060

$13,897,439

37.14%

South Windsor

Philip R. Smith Elementary School

New construction

$32,480,940

$12,063,421

37.14%

Fairfield

Holland Hill School

Extension/ alteration

$18,148,740

$4,666,041

25.71%

Milford

West Shore Middle School

Extension/ alteration, roof replacement

$18,114,246

$9,185,734

50.71%

Plainville

Frank T. Wheeler School

Renovation

$22,805,000

$14,905,348

65.36%

Windham

Windham High School

Renovation

$71,670,200

$57,078,147

79.64%

LEARN

Ocean Avenue LEARNing Academy

Regional special education, extension/ alteration

$5,100,000

$4,080,000

80.00%

Total

19 projects

 

$485,504,671

$239,955,642

 

Changes in Scope for an Existing Project

Table 2 below shows a previously authorized school construction project receiving a change in scope under the act. Originally approved as an alteration, the act approves the change as a renovation, which results in an increased cost.

Table 2: Project Seeking Change in Scope or Cost

District

School

Project

Previous Grant Authorization

Requested Grant Authorization

Change

Hartford

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Magnet school, renovation

$54,400,000

$86,400,000

$32,000,000

2-8 — PROJECT EXEMPTIONS, WAIVERS, AND MODIFICATIONS

The act exempts certain school construction projects from various statutory and regulatory requirements to allow them to, among other things, qualify for (1) state reimbursement grants or (2) a higher level of reimbursement grant. These exemptions are referred to as “notwithstandings.”

Table 3: Exemptions, Waivers, and Other Modifications

Section

Town

School and Project

Exemption, Waiver, or Other Change

2

Norwalk

South Norwalk School at Ely Site, new construction

Waives the requirement to submit an application for the $37.3 million project prior to June 30, 2017 in order to be considered on the 2018 priority list, provided (1) an application is filed by December 1, 2018, (2) the application includes evidence showing the town possesses a clear, unencumbered title to the land that allows for construction, and (3) the project meets all other standard requirements

3

Norwalk

West Rocks Middle School, energy conservation and code violations

Waives the state standard space requirements for grants to cover costs related to the removal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in excess of the original project costs for (1) the energy conservation project (up to $350,000) and (2) the energy conservation and code violations project (up to $395,905); also increases the reimbursement rate to 100% for costs associated with the PCB removal up to a total cost of $745,905

4

Norwalk

Norwalk High School, code violations

(1) Waives the state requirement to notify DAS within seven days of discovering a code violation to make removal of PCBs at the school eligible for a grant and (2) increases the project reimbursement rate to 100% of the costs associated with the PCB removal up to a maximum of $600,000

5

Middletown

Middletown High School, new construction

Increases the project reimbursement rate from 65.7% to 69.6%

6

Bristol

Memorial Boulevard Middle School (has a temporary project designation, thus specific type of project not indicated)

Waives the requirement to submit an application for the $54 million project prior to June 30, 2017 in order to be considered on the 2018 priority list, provided (1) the town received local share funding authorization on or before October 1, 2017 and (2) the project meets all other standard requirements

7

Danbury

Westside Middle School Academy, relocatable classrooms

Waives the requirement to submit an application for the $1.1 million project prior to June 30, 2017 in order to be considered on the 2018 priority list, provided (1) the application is filed before June 1, 2018 and (2) the project meets all other standard requirements

Authorizes a reimbursement rate of 80% for relocatable classrooms for costs up to $1.1 million

8(a)

CREC

Each of the following nine projects are designated magnet school, new construction:

Reggio Magnet School of the Arts, International Magnet School for Global Citizenship, Public Safety Academy, Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy, Academy of Aerospace, Discovery Academy, Museum Academy, Anna Grace Elementary School (formerly Two Rivers School), and Aerospace Elementary; the last two schools are also site purchase projects

Requires DAS to reimburse CREC for any remaining project costs that were previously ineligible for reimbursement for nine magnet schools

8(b)

CREC

Anna Grace Elementary School, magnet, new construction, site purchase; Aerospace Elementary School, magnet, new construction, site purchase

Makes DAS responsible for management and administration of the magnet school building projects for both schools

9 — SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECT MANAGERS

The act authorizes the administrative services commissioner to deny a town's application for a school building project grant if, in the application, the town designates a regional educational service center as the project manager. By law, there are a number of other criteria that the commissioner must consider when reviewing an application, such as various public health, fire safety, and educational standards.