Section 15: Sale or lease of school buildings for which school facilities project applicant receives grant payments
Section 15. (a) In the event that an eligible applicant sells or leases an assisted structure or facility, or a portion of that structure or facility, on account of which it is receiving grant payments for an approved school project or, in the case of an approved school project approved on or after July 1, 2004, on account of which it has received at least 1 grant payment in the preceding 20 years, under this chapter or under chapter 645 of the acts of 1948, the sale or lease of the assisted structure or facility, or portion of that structure or facility, shall be for no less than fair market value as determined by independent appraisal, unless the eligible applicant receives prior written approval from the authority to do otherwise, and the proceeds from the sale or lease shall be divided between the authority and the general funds of the applicable eligible applicant in proportion to the commonwealth's and authority's prior investments in the assisted structure or facility under this chapter or said chapter 645, as applicable. In the case of an approved school project approved before July 1, 2004, the authority's share of the proceeds shall reduce the balance of outstanding grant payments that would otherwise be payable except for this section and shall not exceed that amount. An eligible applicant which sells, leases or otherwise removes from use by the eligible applicant as a schoolhouse an approved school project on account of which it is receiving grant payments or, in the case of an approved school project approved on or after July 1, 2004, on account of which it has received at least 1 grant payment in the preceding 20 years, under this chapter or under said chapter 645, shall report the sale, lease or removal to the authority in the form and manner and within the time prescribed by the authority. The authority may issue regulations to recapture commonwealth and authority assistance for an approved school facilities projects for school buildings that are removed from service.
(b) In the event an eligible applicant sells or leases an assisted structure or if the assisted structure was not used as a schoolhouse for at least half of the preceding fiscal year, the amount of outstanding grant payments remaining after reductions under the provisions of subsection (a), shall be deducted from each city, town or regional school district's cherry sheets, so-called, as an assessment in accordance with the provisions of section 21 of chapter 59, according to a schedule agreed to between the city or town and the authority; provided, however, that at the discretion of the authority, deductions authorized from said cherry sheets under the provisions of this subsection may be waived for an assisted structure or facility which has been removed from use as a schoolhouse by a city, town or regional school district, pursuant to a plan approved by said city, town or regional school district and the authority, which provides for the reuse of the assisted structure or facility as a schoolhouse within two years of the adoption of the plan or prior to the expiration of the term of any bonds or notes issued to finance the project for which the grant was approved, whichever is the earliest.
Before the sale or lease of an assisted structure or facility or a portion of that structure or facility, the school district in control of the structure or facility shall submit to the authority a district-wide school facility use plan that shall include, but not be limited to, a listing of all school facilities under the control of the school district, a detailed description of both the current use and proposed use of each school facility, the most recent enrollment data, by school facility, then available to the school district, a detailed floor plan of each school facility that shows and labels each space in the facility and whether it is used as a classroom or has some other use and any other information that may be required by the authority to understand the district's school facility use plan. If the plan includes the closure, sale or lease of a school facility or any part of a school facility, the authority may conduct, with the full cooperation of the district, an analysis of district-wide enrollment capacity and future enrollment trends for the district. If the capacity analysis and enrollment projection indicate an extended period of significant excess capacity within the district's educational facilities, the district may, prior to consideration of any other disposition of the identified excess capacity, make a good faith offer to sell or lease at fair market value the identified excess capacity to a commonwealth charter school established pursuant to section 89 of chapter 71 or an applicant for a commonwealth charter school pursuant to said section 89 of said chapter 71 that serves or is seeking to serve students who live in the school district. The authority shall not recapture commonwealth and authority assistance for any such excess capacity that is sold or leased to a commonwealth charter school or applicant for a commonwealth charter school.
(c) Any eligible applicant which applies for a grant pursuant to this chapter and which has, prior to such application, sold, leased or otherwise removed from service any schoolhouse operated by said eligible applicant shall be eligible for such grant only if the board determines either 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.
(d) The provisions of this section, at the discretion of the authority, shall not apply to sales or leases of such assisted structures or facilities for nonprofit public purposes.