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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 9: Cost effective production of efficient and creative school projects; standards and procedures; regulations

Section 9. (a) In order to maximize the cost effective production of efficient and creative school projects, the authority shall require that every school project conform to standards and procedures as the authority considers appropriate including, not but limited to, the following: (1) that the applicant fully consider all available options for satisfying the described need, including tuition agreements with adjacent school districts, rental or acquisition and any necessary rehabilitation or usage modification of any existing building which could be made available for school use; (2) that the applicant's site selection is based on the cost and environmental factors, including an awareness of soil conditions and their probable effect on foundation and site development costs, transportation effects, dislocation of site occupants and relationship to other community facilities; (3) that the applicant enter into contracts, using forms satisfactory to the authority for such competent architectural, engineering and other services as may be required; and (4) that procedures satisfactory to the board are followed by the applicant throughout the planning and construction of the project such as will assure maximum attention to the operating and capital cost effects of program and design decisions, materials and systems selections.

(b) The authority shall issue annually, as hereinafter provided, maximum eligible cost standards and size standards for school projects. These standards may take into account the type and location of a proposed school project and may also take into account the difficulty of siting school facilities in dense urban areas in which there exists a shortage of available municipally-owned sites and the increased cost of construction and major renovation in such urban areas. The program standards shall define prototype school design and space recommendations for each specified program activity eligible for state financial assistance. The program standards shall, in the judgment of the authority, be in conformity with the minimum requirements of state law and shall also reflect consideration of cost effects, prevailing educational standards in the commonwealth and the needs of efficient and creative school projects. The cost standards shall be based on the price experience of recently completed and recently bid school projects, taking into account the cost effectiveness of design, construction and programming techniques utilized in such school projects. For the purpose of calculating the total construction grant under section 10, the estimated approved cost and the final approved cost for a school project shall not exceed the cost that would result if the project conformed to prototype school standards. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to preclude an eligible applicant from exceeding prototype school standard; provided, however, the cost of such additional facilities and design shall not be included in the estimated cost and final approved cost on the basis of which the state construction grant is calculated.

(c) On or before March 1 in each year, the authority shall adopt interim regulations, including minimum program standards and maximum cost standards, for the implementation of this section. Upon the adoption of such regulations, the authority shall forthwith file copies thereof with the clerk of the house of representatives who shall refer such regulations to an appropriate committee of the general court. Within 30 days after such filing, said committee may hold a public hearing on the regulations, shall issue a report, and file a copy thereof with the board. Said board shall adopt final regulations making such revisions in the interim regulations as it deems appropriate in view of such report and shall forthwith file a copy of the regulations with the chairperson of the committee of the general court to which the interim regulations were referred. Not earlier than 30 days after the date of such filing, the board shall file the final regulations with the state secretary and the said regulations shall thereupon take effect.

(d) A city, town, regional school district or independent agricultural and technical school shall not have entitlement to funds under this chapter except at the discretion of the authority in accordance with this chapter.