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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 38.00:
School Construction

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38.06: Cost Standards: Capital Construction

(1) Grants for capital construction shall be based on the following amounts per square foot for the cost of the general contract, design fees, allowable site preparation, site development, insurance, construction supervision, costs related to the issuance of notes and bonds, contingency amounts, and miscellaneous costs.

Elementary School $171.00 per square foot
Middle School/Junior High School $182.00 per square foot
High School $195.00 per square foot
Vocational School $209.00 per square foot

(2) Grants for capital construction projects may also include not more than $16.00 per square foot for furnishings and equipment.

(3) For the purpose of calculating the state construction grant, the estimated approved project cost and the final approved project cost for a school project shall not exceed the cost that would result by multiplying the approved gross square footage per pupil by the planned enrollment and by multiplying the result by the established cost per square foot as set forth 603 CMR 38.06(1) and (2). Said costs per square foot shall apply to projects for which the general contract work begins on or after June 1, 2004. The Commissioner may recommend to the Board that this requirement be waived in exceptional circumstances. If the project cost estimate exceeds the approved cost limit and the applicant believes a waiver is warranted, the applicant must submit a waiver request before soliciting construction bids. Waiver requests submitted after the general contract has been awarded should be limited to extraordinary situations which arise during construction and which could not have been reasonably anticipated during the design process. All waiver requests must include documentation demonstrating that the bid process was or will be fair, open, and cost-effective.

(4) The provisions of 603 CMR 38.05 and 38.06 shall not be deemed to preclude a city, town or regional school district from including in an approved school project such facilities or design as it determines, in addition to those required to conform to minimum program standards and costs. The cost of such additional facilities and design shall not, however, be included in the estimated approved cost and final approved cost on the basis of which the state construction grant is calculated.

(5) In determining the allowable costs for an addition, the Board shall consider the nature of the approved spaces to be added, the nature of the required equipment and other furnishings, the relationship of the addition to other elements of the school and any factor which would cause the cost of the addition to exceed substantially the cost standard established for new construction, and may in its discretion allow the increased costs or a lesser amount. The intent of 603 CMR 38.06(5) is to make allowance for the varied nature of additions to school buildings.

(6) Capital construction projects may include the renovation and rehabilitation of existing buildings to accommodate changes in educational use, compliance with building code and other legal requirements, and such other work as may be approved by the Commissioner. In making such determination, the Commissioner shall take into account the age of the building, its current condition, past school construction funding for the building, the adequacy of the applicant's maintenance program, and any other relevant factors. The Commissioner shall establish appropriate cost limits for the renovation and rehabilitation portions of a capital construction project, subject to the overall limitations of 603 CMR 38.06(3).

(7) The value of a facility to be acquired shall be determined by the Board on the basis of the reports of at least two fee appraisers registered with the Attorney General and retained by the applicant. The final approved cost of combined acquisition, renovation and conversion work shall not exceed the equivalent costs in new construction.

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

Last Updated: June 18, 2004
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