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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 38.00:
School Construction

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38.03: General Requirements: Capital Construction

To assure that the Commonwealth's interests in funding public school construction are safeguarded and ensure maximum attention to the cost effects of program and design decisions and materials and systems selections, all capital construction projects for which school building assistance grants are sought must meet the following requirements:

(1) All capital constructions projects shall have an anticipated useful life of at least 50 years as a public school of the applicant school district, provided that this requirement may be waived by the Commissioner where the applicant can demonstrate that a shorter term solution is consistent with the projected enrollment levels and is cost effective or otherwise in the public interest.

(2) The design specifications for all projects, including those for the expansion and renovation of an existing building, shall meet the applicable building code requirements established by the Executive Office of Public Safety.

(3) Buildings shall be designed to minimize vandalism, and materials and furnishings shall be selected to minimize vandalism.

(4) All facilities in an approved school project shall provide for equality of educational opportunity without discrimination on account of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national origin, and shall meet the requirements of M.G.L. c. 76, § 5 and regulations made thereunder. Projects shall comply with all applicable provisions of federal, state, and local law relative to the accessibility of programs and facilities to persons with disabilities.

(5) All projects shall have undergone review, in accordance with applicable state law and regulations, by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Secretary of Environmental Affairs, and any other department or agency of the Commonwealth required by law to review such projects.

(6) All projects shall demonstrate that they have identified any collaborative programs in the school district not currently housed in public school facilities, and have reviewed any such programs to determine if those students can be better served in the proposed new facility.

(7) The plans for all projects shall reflect, to the best of the applicant's ability, cost effective design, material, and finish decisions consistent with good engineering practice and the requirements of the school building assistance program.

(8) The plans for all projects shall reflect, to the best of the applicant's ability, attention to the 21st century technological needs of students, faculty, and school staff.

(9) In the interest of cost effectiveness, the applicant shall carefully weigh the effects of initial capital costs against maintenance costs over the life of the building in order to reduce such maintenance costs. Life-cycle cost estimates for all technically feasible energy systems as defined in St. 1976, c. 433, shall be considered during the preliminary design stage in order to ensure that the energy system with the lowest life-cycle cost estimate will be identified in accordance with the provisions of St. 1976, c.433.

(10) Projects calling for a new school construction shall be approved and funded only where the feasibility and cost of renovating an existing school building, or of acquiring an existing building or buildings which are structurally sound, available within the community or district and adaptable for school purposes, has been studied and the applicant demonstrates that the proposed new construction is the best available alternative to meet the projected need based upon the educational program to be housed, total cost effectiveness, and the public interest.

(11) Any city, town, or regional school district which applies for a grant pursuant to 603 CMR 38.00 and which has, prior to application, sold, leased or otherwise removed from service any schoolhouse operated by said city, town, or regional school district shall be eligible for such grant only if the Commissioner either determines that the grant is not for the purpose of replacing a schoolhouse sold, leased, or otherwise removed from service in the past ten years or that the need for the project covered by the grant could not have reasonably been anticipated at the time that such schoolhouse was sold, leased, or otherwise removed from service.

(12) The applicant shall provide a qualified construction manager to oversee all capital construction projects.

(13) Applicants shall implement containment procedures for dusts, gases, fumes, and other pollutants created during renovations/construction as part of any planned construction, addition to, or renovation of a school if the building is occupied by students, teachers or school department staff while such renovation and construction is occurring. Such containment procedures shall be consistent with the most current edition of the "IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction" published by the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Inc. (SMACNA). All bids received for school construction or renovations shall include the cost of planning and execution of containment of construction/renovation pollutants consistent with the SMACNA guidelines.

(14) All capital construction projects shall have a project identification sign on the construction site during the period of construction. Said sign shall be at least four feet by eight feet in size, shall be visible from the primary roadway adjoining the site, and shall include the following: "This project funded in part by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts School Building Assistance Program."

Regulatory Authority:
603 CMR 38.00: M.G.L c. 69, § 1B and Chapter 70B

Last Updated: June 18, 2004
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