THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of Facilities Planning
Tel. (519)474-3906 Fax (518) 486-5918
TO: District Superintendents
Superintendents of Schools
FROM: Carl T. Thurnau, PE, Coordinator
SUBJECT: STATE BUILDING AID FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND BOCES
The attached bulletin provides guidelines and information on school construction, pursuant to Section 3602 of the Education Law.
The Office of Facilities Planning assigns a Project Manager to every project that a school district or BOCES proposes to do. For many years the method for determining the extent of eligibility for building aid of any project involving a new instructional facility or an addition to an existing instructional facility involved the calculation of State-rated capacity. However, the public sector seemed to consistently misinterpret this label as meaning the number of students that could be placed in a particular classroom. This calculated number actually represented one part of the equation used to determine the maximum expenditures for contracts and for incidentals upon which Building Aid would be computed. In reality, it had little or nothing to do with the actual number of students served in each instructional space within the building. To help clarify the misinterpretation, the Office of Facilities Planning decided to change that terminology from State-rated capacity to Building Aid Units.
The attached represents the minimum class sizes required for new instructional facilities and the number of Building Aid Units represented by those classrooms. If you have difficulty interpreting any of the material, please feel free to contact a Project Manager in this office. In addition, we strongly urge you to contact our office as early as possible in the planning process and whenever there is a question concerning building construction or eligibility of certain work for Building Aid. It is our desire to assist school districts with the planning of facilities to house their educational programs as efficiently as possible, while at the same time maximizing their Building Aid.
There is additional information which describes the types of work that are or are not eligible for building aid. There is also information on the appropriateness of change orders and their eligibility for building aid and relationship to the original project.
STATE BUILDING AID
FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND BOCES
Building Aid is available for certain approved capital outlays and debt service for school buildings housing elementary and/or secondary students and for school bus garages. A project is not eligible unless the construction costs of the project equal or exceed $10,000, excluding incidental costs. Consistent with Section 3602, subdivision 6, of the Education Law, such construction may include new buildings, additions, and alterations/reconstruction of facilities.
The Commissioner of Education must approve plans and specifications for capital construction projects undertaken by public school districts and BOCES. This charge is administered by the Office of Facilities Planning, pursuant to Section 408 of the Education Law and Part 155.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Proper procedures for obtaining approval of plans and specifications are outlined in other office publications.
It is important to note that approval of plans and specifications for most capital construction projects undertaken by a public school district or a BOCES is necessary whether or not Building Aid is involved. Staff are available to answer any questions pertaining to Building Aid or plan approval.
Eligibility for new construction is determined through an assessment of information contained in the school district's Facilities Needs Assessment Summary, enrollment projections, Instructional Space Review form, 5-YEAR capital Facilities Plan, and proposed floor plans, as well as the required curriculum and the specific educational programs offered by the district or BOCES. A Project Manager from our office will be assigned who can assist a district during the development phase of a project to maximize Building Aid.
Section 1 of Part F of Chapter 383 of the Laws of 2001 change the methodology used in the payment of Building Aid. Projects are considered Prospective Projects when they are approved by the Commissioner on or after December 1, 2001 or when the first borrowing for the project is after this date. Such projects are subject to an Assumed Amortization using the approved project costs. Approved project costs are the lesser of the actual costs or the maximum cost allowance (discussed below) for each of the four project cost categories. The categories are new/addition construction costs; alteration/reconstruction costs; new/addition incidental costs and alteration/reconstruction incidental costs. These costs are totaled to arrive at the Approved Project cost.
Building Aid is based on an Assumed Amortization Schedule using:
A statewide average interest rate. There is a separate interest rate for each of the Big Five Cities and the actual interest rate will be used for projects financed through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.
Terms are 15, 20 or 30 years for reconstruction, additions and new buildings respectively.
The first assumed principal and interest payment is made the latter of 18 months after approval of the project by the Office of Facilities Planning or the date that a general construction contract award is certified to the Education Department on the SA-139 Request for Building Project Data.
For the purpose of computing State Building Aid, debt service payments are assumed to be made every six months and the payments are assumed to be level debt service (equal payments).
Twelve months of capitalized interest that accrues before the first assumed payment is an aidable expense and is added into the principal amount to be financed.
State Building Aid will be based on the amount of Assumed Debt Service that occurs in a given school fiscal year.
State Building Aid will continue to be paid out based on the payment schedule in Education Law section 3609-a.
School Districts may finance their projects in any manner they choose and the former early borrowing penalty is eliminated for projects subject to prospective assumed amortization.
School Districts may align their new debt service to the assumed amortization rules, but are not required to do so.
The assumed amortization process for projects subject to prospective assumed amortization will allow the State Education Department (SED) to quickly calculate building aid for each project as soon as the project is approved. SED can more accurately estimate building aid for future years and there is less paperwork for the districts.
Part F of Chapter 383 of the Laws of 2001 also changed the aid methodology for existing projects.
Existing projects subject to retroactive assumed amortization are projects approved prior to December 1, 2001 by the Office of Facilities Planning and for which debt (Bonds, Bond Anticipation Notes or Capital Notes) were first issued prior to this date.
The assumed amortization methodology for existing projects subject to retroactive assumed amortization applies to Building Aid Payments beginning in the 2002-03 school year.
The assumed amortization methodology is applied to the existing debt and building aid is stretched out over the same period as if the district had financed for the blended maximum useful life of the projects associated with the debt, as determined by the Commissioner, less the number of years the project has already been financed.
Building Aid is based on an Assumed Amortization Schedule for debt service using:
A statewide average interest rate for the 2001-02 school fiscal year. (There will be a separate interest rate for each of the Big Five Cities and the Actual interest rate will be used for projects financed through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.)
The remaining useful life of the projects.
Reasonable approved refinancing fees and charges and additional principal necessary to advance refund bonds.
The outstanding principal for each project as of July 1, 2002.
Any other approved project costs that are to be funded through the issuance of debt
The first assumed principal and interest payment is assumed to be made by the school district on July 1, 2002.
For the purpose of computing state Building Aid, debt service payments are assumed to be made every six months and the payments are assumed to be level debt service (equal payments).
State Building Aid will be based on the amount of assumed debt service that occurs in a given school year.
State Building aid will continue to be paid out based on the payment schedule in Education Law, section 3609-a.
If you are interested in obtaining further detailed information regarding the above changes to the payment of Building Aid visit the State Aid web site at www.stateaid.nysed.gov.
In the case of instructional facilities (i.e., school buildings), the Maximum Cost Allowance is limited to:
· the Building Aid Units (BAU) assigned to the project by grade level or category and for new or existing space;
· multiplied by the Construction Cost Index that is in effect the month the general construction contract is signed;
· then that amount multiplied by the applicable Regional Cost Factor for the fiscal year that the project’s contracts are signed. This is applicable only to contracts signed after July 1, 1998.
The above formula may result in up to four amounts of maximum cost allowance derived both for contracts and for incidental costs, and for new and existing space. These amounts or the actual costs incurred, whichever is less, are then multiplied by the district’s Building Aid Ratio at the time the project is approved. The district’s Building Aid will be the result of this calculation.
NOTE: If the district is eligible for an additional adjustment to their Building Aid Ratio, then the Office of State Aid would factor this into the calculation when computing the actual Building Aid Ratio to be used.
In the case of bus garages, expenses eligible for Building Aid are limited to those necessary to maintain and store district-owned school buses. These expenses are used as the maximum cost allowance for these facilities. Facilities used for storing or maintaining other vehicles, such as cars for driver training instruction, grounds maintenance equipment and other types of vehicles not used to transport pupils are not eligible for Building Aid.
PURPOSE OF BUILDING AID
The purpose of Building Aid, indeed a major goal of Facilities Planning, is to ensure that each school district and BOCES provides suitable and adequate facilities to accommodate the students and programs of the district. To this end, new facilities -- new buildings, additions, major alterations -- must meet specific standards pertaining to the type, size and number of teaching stations, as well as building code requirements. Existing facilities must meet health and safety regulations, and reconstruction of existing facilities must meet building code requirements.
ELIGIBILITY FOR BUILDING AID
The Project Manager will assist a district in maximizing eligibility for Building Aid. This assessment involves a comparison of district wide pupil enrollment projections with the efficient operating capacity of existing school buildings to determine building needs. The vehicle for accomplishing this is a room schedule of minimum spaces necessary to house a district's educational program for a given number of pupils. In the case of an addition, the format of the room schedule allows for the listing of existing spaces and how they will be used prospectively. Thus, the difference between needed spaces and existing spaces will indicate the needed scope of work. The various formulas necessary to develop such a room schedule are included in this publication.
MINIMUM ROOM SIZES – required for new buildings and additions; recommended for new spaces created within existing space
a. Spaces in new buildings and additions which are required to house a district's educational program shall meet the size standards listed below. Where no square footage (sq. ft.) is listed, the size may be as determined locally.
b. In every case, listed square footage means minimum, net, clear, new educational space.
c. Newly-created spaces in alterations to existing school buildings should attempt to meet the size standards insofar as possible or practical.
d. Criteria to determine the number of spaces necessary is also included below. The number of pupil stations (i.e., Building Aid Units) assigned to various rooms is discussed later, beginning on page 14.
a. Classrooms --
1. Grades 1-6 770 sq. ft.
2. Pre-kindergarten/kindergarten 900 sq. ft.
b. Library 900 sq. ft.
(1 thru 12 classroom buildings -- none required)
(13 plus classroom building -- 1 required)
c. Physical Education - gymnasium 36' x 52'
(1 and 2 classroom buildings -- none required)
(2 thru 14 classroom building -- 1 required)
(1 thru 14 additional classrooms -- 1 additional)
d. Special Education
Maximum Pupil Capacity
Minimum Classroom Size
|12:1 or 15:1||12 or 15||770 sq ft|
|12:1:1||12||770 sq ft|
|6:1:1||6||450 sq ft|
|8:1:1||8||550 sq ft|
|12:1+3:1||12||900 sq ft|
|Resource Room||---||300 sq ft|
NOTE: Provide ancillary space equivalent
to at least ¼ of the area of a special education classroom for each special
education classroom being constructed, either as part of the new classroom or
other designated space.
Maximum Pupil Capacity
Minimum Classroom Size
|12:1 or 15:1||12 or 15||770 sq. ft.|
|12:1:1||12||770 sq. ft.|
|6:1:1||6||450 sq. ft.|
|8:1:1||8||550 sq. ft.|
|12:1+3:1||12||900 sq. ft.|
|Resource Room||---||300 sq. ft.|
NOTE: Provide ancillary space equivalent to at least 1/4 of the area of a special education classroom for each special education classroom being constructed, either as part of the new classroom or other designated space.
n. Usual ancillary spaces
2. Adult education
3. Auditorium (no. of fixed seats, 7 sq. ft./person)
4. Cafeteria/Kitchen (15 sq. ft./person)
5. Conference Rooms
6. Computer Laboratory
7. Guidance Suite
8. Health Suite
9. Lockers and showers (for 100% of pupil enrollment)
10. Large group instruction (no. of fixed seats, 7 sq. ft./person)
11. Resource Rooms
12. Remedial Rooms
15. Teachers' room(s)
DETERMINING BUILDING AID
In the actual determination of estimated building aid, the following terms apply:
· Pupil Capacity -- It is imperative that the definitions and differences in the following terms be understood.
1. Original Capacity – This represents the total number of students in the original building, or total complex in the case of additions, was designed to accommodate (i.e., 567 pupil elementary school; 1,000 pupil high school). Essentially, this number is the operational capacity of the building or complex when it was constructed and was the basis for the determination of minimum size of site.
2. Rated Capacity (State-Rated Capacity) -- Previously, this was understood to be the total number of students assigned by Facilities Planning to a building for the purpose of determining the maximum cost allowance for a capital construction project -- new building, addition(s), alterations, or, reconstruction -- pursuant to Education Law, Section 3602, subdivision 6. Facilities Planning now refers to this as Building Aid Units (BAU).
The BAU assigned to a particular project is computed using space standards established by the Commissioner. Note that a change in room use may result in a change in the BAU. When new buildings or additions to schools are planned, the total projected student enrollments for the grade levels to be housed in that new building are compared to the actual number of regular and/or interchangeable classrooms being proposed. (Note: Those enrollment projections are usually based on the Cohort Survival method and are a required component of the Facilities Needs Assessment Summary for that particular proposed project.)
3. Operating Capacity – This reflects the total number of students the building can reasonably and efficiently house based on the district's educational program and class size policy, and the number, size and current use of rooms as represented on approved plans. The operating capacity of a building is computed using the space standards established by the Commissioner modified by any differences due to the district's educational program and/or class size policy.
4. Enrollment (building enrollment) – This is the number of students actually assigned to a building during a specific school year.
· Construction Project Cost Index -- This is the New York State Labor Department index which represents the cost of labor and materials. It varies monthly (historically upwards) and is used to determine the construction project cost index for both construction contracts as well as for incidental costs. The construction project cost index accounts for the various factors included in the Education Law (K-6 = 1,000; grades 7-9 = 1,400; grades 7-12 = 1,500; a facility housing only special education students = 2,000; and special education students housed in a building with regular education students = 3,000) and is adjusted on the base year of 1950. For computing actual Building Aid, the construction project cost index used is the one that is in effect the month the district signs the major (or general construction) contract for the work proposed under each particular project. (Note: The construction project cost index for incidentals represents 25% of the cost index for contracts at the secondary grade levels and for special education, and 20% of the cost index for contracts at the elementary grade levels.
· Maximum Cost Allowance -- This represents the maximum amount of actual expenditures upon which the State will pay Building Aid. Pursuant to Section 3602, subdivision 6, a maximum cost allowance is determined for both construction costs and for incidental costs. The maximum cost allowance for incidentals is 25% of the maximum cost allowance for construction for secondary schools and special education, and 20% for elementary schools. In the case of a project having construction of a new addition, as well as reconstruction or alterations of an existing building, a separate maximum cost allowance is determined for the construction costs and for the incidental costs for both the addition and the reconstruction or alteration. When a proposed project includes an addition to an existing building as well as alterations (i.e., reconstruction) of the existing building, a separate maximum cost allowance is computed for the contract costs and for the incidental costs for both the addition and for the alterations portions of the project. (Allowable incidental costs are defined later on in this booklet.)
· District Aid Ratio -- This represents a fixed percentage determined annually for each individual school district, based on the full value of property in the district and the number of students in the district. It varies from 0% in the wealthiest districts to as high as 90% in the poorer districts. When reorganized incentive building aid is added to the aid calculated pursuant to the aid ratio of recently reorganized districts and the 10% incentive aid enacted effective July 1, 1998 is also added, the approved capital projects may be aided up to a maximum of 95% of approved expenditures.
10% inventive aid: If voters authorized capital project before July 1, 2000, the district gets select aid ratio plus 10%. If voter authorization is after July 1, 2000, the district gets the greater of the current aid ratio or the select aid ratio minus 10% and then adds 10% back to the selection.
FORMULA FOR BUILDING AID
Using the above terms, the formula for determining estimated building aid for a new building, addition, reconstruction and/or alteration is as follows:
1. The BAU are multiplied by the construction project cost index to determine a maximum cost allowance for both construction costs and incidental costs.
2. The maximum cost allowances are adjusted by multiplying each one (i.e., new versus existing BAU and contracts versus incidental cost indices) by the district’s applicable Regional Cost Factor. The Regional Cost Factor is used to compensate for higher construction costs in various geographical areas of the State. Note that if the Regional Cost Factor is greater than 1.0, it will increase the maximum cost allowances that are eligible for Building Aid.
3. The actual expenditures by category (i.e., new versus existing and contracts versus incidentals) are then multiplied by the district’s Building Aid Ratio on a project-by-project basis, taking into account any applicable incentive or RESCUE aid for the particular project and the results are the dollars that the district will receive if the actual expenditures for construction and incidentals are equal to, or less than the adjusted maximum cost allowances. If the actual expenditures in either category (contracts or incidentals) are less than the adjusted maximum cost allowance, the aid ratio is applied to the actual expenditure to determine what dollars the district will receive. If the actual expenditures exceed the adjusted maximum cost allowances, there is no penalty but the Building Aid Ratio will be applied only to the adjusted maximum cost allowances.
NOTE: Total expenditures for capital construction are limited to the amount properly authorized by either a vote of the people in a public school district (or declaration of an ordinary contingent expense by the Board of Education, when appropriate) or by the Boards of Education in the Big Five City School Districts.
BAU for Elementary Schools
The BAU for a new or an existing elementary school shall be determined by assigning 27 BAU to each 770 square foot classroom used for grades 1-6, and to each 900 square foot kindergarten or pre-kindergarten room. Where formal board policy or union contract limit the number of students in a classroom to less than 27 for Pre-K through 6th grade, we will use the lesser number when determining operating capacity to justify additional classrooms.
a. There is no provision in law for Building Aid on rooms housing any program below pre-kindergarten.
b. Pre-kindergarten rooms are those used for pre-kindergarten children as defined in Commissioner's Regulations, Section 151.2 (g).
Pre-kindergarten children generally mean children who will be four years of age on or before December 1st of the current school year, or who will otherwise be first eligible to enter into kindergarten in a public school commencing with the following school year.
The BAU for a new or existing open-planned classroom space elementary school shall be determined by dividing the open planned classroom space by 35 sq. ft. and then rounding off to the next lower multiple of 27 pupils.
In an existing elementary building, the BAU of a room over 550 square feet, but less than 770 square feet shall be determined by dividing the area of the room by 28.5 square feet/pupil and assigning the whole number. Existing rooms of less than 550 square feet are not included in BAU calculations.
Only classrooms and kindergarten/pre-kindergarten rooms are counted for BAU in an elementary school. It is assumed that the basic cost index generally will be sufficient to provide for both classrooms and ancillary spaces. A library, cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium and teachers’ conference rooms will only increase the BAU for the project if these spaces are located in a new building or an addition to an existing school and only on an as needed basis.
BAU for New Elementary School/Addition
a. Method for Computing BAU
BAU for Special Education
The BAU for special education classrooms shall be determined by assigning the BAU based on the disabilities of the students. Only classrooms are counted for BAU, not resource rooms or other ancillary spaces. It is assumed that the basic cost index will usually be sufficient to provide both the classrooms and resource rooms and/or any other ancillary spaces that may be needed to provide appropriate spaces for the special education students.
|12:1 or 15:1||12 or 15|
|12:1 plus 3:1||12|
BAU for Secondary School
a. A secondary school is a new or existing building housing any or all grades above sixth grade.
b. When a school houses both elementary and secondary pupils, the BAU is separately determined for the elementary versus the secondary spaces.
c. The BAU is based on seven instructional periods/day.
d. BAU of a secondary school is determined by either the Teaching Station Method or Pupil Station Method, dependent on the size of the school. The following are considered teaching stations:
1. Agricultural shop, including an agricultural classroom.
2. Art room (each).
3. Business education rooms (each).
4. Home and Careers (homemaking) (each, if 1000 sq. ft. or more).
5. Technology (industrial arts) shop (each).
6. Mechanical drawing room (each).
7. Music room (each, if 770 sq. ft. or more).
8. Physical education/gymnasium (each, if standard size).
9. Recitation classroom/interchangeable classroom (each).
10. Science - general, earth or advanced (i.e., biology, physics, chemistry).
11. Study hall (each, if 770 sq. ft., or more, and cafeteria/study hall, if so labeled and used).
Teaching Station Method
The teaching station method will be applied to any:
c. Senior High School having 22 or fewer
Ascertain the total number of teaching stations used only for English, social studies, mathematics, languages, and health education.
Substitute this total for "X" in the formula: 8 (7X - 12). The result is the BAU.
Pupil Station Method
The Pupil Station Method will be applied to any:
a. Junior High School having 30 or more teaching stations.
b. Junior/Senior High School having 26 or more teaching stations.
c. Senior High School having 23 or more teaching stations.
To determine the total number of pupil stations (PS) in a building:
1. Divide the net area (square feet) of each of the rooms listed under "Pupil Stations" below by the listed square feet/pupil allowance to determine the PS in each room.
2. Record each result, not exceeding the listed maximums.
3. Total the above.
4. Subtract 200 from the total and divide the remainder by 1.16. The resulting number of PS is the BAU of the building for aid purposes.
Operating capacity by this method is computed using the same method as outlined above, but modified by any differences due to the district's educational program and/or maximum class sizes which are clearly outlined in formal board policy and/or in teacher contracts.
Pupil Stations –
Maximum number of
Pupil Stations (PS)
1. agricultural shop and classroom
3. business or computer rooms
4. home and careers
5. technology (industrial arts)
6. mechanical drawing
7. library - reading room only
|Not to exceed 15% of PS in number10|
(area of room ¸ 25) x .4
(area of room ¸ 20) x .4
9. physical education
10. recitation classroom
b. open planned classroom
b. advanced - biology, chemistry, physics
a. cafeteria/study hall (if so labeled and used)
|Not to exceed
40% of PS in number10 (area of room ¸ 16.5) x .7
Not to exceed 40% of PS in number10
BAU of a Secondary School Addition
NOTE: Space associated with special
education is included in these numbers.
·Reconstruction -- Reconstruction includes replacement and/or remodeling in an existing school building. The term reconstruction is synonymous with the term capital improvement and means to rebuild, to renovate, to remodel, (i.e., to construct again). Essentially, reconstruction embodies all of the terms defined below and includes all types of capital construction work other than new buildings or additions.
ELIGIBLE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
· Building Features Affected -- A reconstruction project must embody permanent improvements and replacements that increase the value or prolong the life of a building. Essentially, such improvements relate to various components of a building's structural envelope and various elements of the mechanical systems, rather than cosmetic features, or certain furnishings or equipment attached to (i.e., built into) the building.
The structural envelope of a building includes such things as roof, walls, windows, doors, insulation (including asbestos control) and fire/safety work, etc. Mechanical elements include plumbing (such as water distribution, sanitary drainage, fixtures); heating (such as boiler/burner, temperature control, ventilation); and electric (such as service, power/light distribution, lighting fixtures, communications).
· Scope of an Eligible Project -- To be eligible for Building Aid, reconstruction work must be done in the total building or a substantial portion of a circumscribed portion of the building. Substantial portion may include such divisions as the original building, a dated addition, a wing of the building, one total floor of a multi-story building or wing, or a program area (such as the auditorium/gymnasium complex) and, of course, the whole building.
In addition, reconstruction work must include the whole of a particular building component or element of a system, or a substantial portion thereof. For example, replacement of a whole roof would be eligible for aid. Likewise, replacement of a part of the roof which is bounded by parapets and/or roof edges would also be eligible for aid. Conversely, replacement of only a portion of the roof area that is bounded within the parapets and/or roof edges would not be eligible.
Replacement of one light fixture in each of three or four classrooms would not be eligible for aid; nor would replacement of all the fixtures in only one classroom. However, replacement of all light fixtures in all of the classrooms, or a substantial portion of the classrooms on a particular floor or wing, would be eligible for aid.
The same concept is applicable to item 3 like ceiling tiles. Replacement of a few tiles in each of three or four classrooms would not be eligible for aid; nor would the replacement of the whole ceiling in only one classroom. However, replacement of the ceiling in the whole building, or in a substantial portion of a floor or wing, would be eligible for aid.
The principle represented above applies equally to the remodeling or replacement of all building components and system elements. Any questions concerning what makes up a "substantial portion" should be discussed with the Project Manager.
· Deteriorated Building Elements -- Over the course of time, certain items and elements of a school building which are attached to or built into the building reach a point where it can be documented that they no longer can be reasonably or properly maintained. They are represented by the following list:
- auditorium seating installations
- auditorium seating ( recovering)
- auditorium proscenium curtains
- bleacher installations (interior)
- cabinetry installations
- chalk/tackboard installations
- locker installations (gym type/corridor type)
- sun/light control (curtains, drapes, blinds)
- wall finishes (other than painter's finishes)
These listed kinds of work items are eligible for Building Aid if they meet the following criteria:
Aid for Eligible Leased Space
Aid on instructional leased space; lease
must be at least 10 years to receive aid on a capital project conducted in
the leased space. Work up capacity (BAUs) as if a regular addition or
new. Aid on construction costs will be pro-rated, based on 15 years; e.g., if
district has a 5 year lease, they will get 5/15 of maximum cost allowance.
Change orders reflect costs incurred as a result of changes to a project after the project has been approved by the Commissioner, publicly bid and awarded. Change orders can arise from many circumstances including unforeseen conditions during construction, design errors or omissions, or the owner requesting changes to the project after approval.
A change order is used to officially make changes in a signed contract for capital construction to add or delete certain portions of the work, or otherwise change a condition or the amount of the contract. A change order may be awarded to a contractor without competitive bidding, however, no important change may be made which so varies the original plan or is of such importance as to constitute a new undertaking (Opinion of State Comptroller number60-505). This means that a change order may NOT expand the scope of work, or represent a basic departure from work already included in the contract.
Based on the above statement, change orders should be limited to those items necessary to implement the project originally contemplated by the district, and approved by the voters and by the Commissioner. For example, in a project to replace the windows and window treatments, ceilings and heating systems in a classroom wing, it may be appropriate or necessary to replace the lighting fixtures as a change order, but it would not be appropriate to install a new building wide fire alarm system or install new carpet in the library under a change order. Neither of those two changes bear any relationship to the originally proposed construction project and if necessary, that work should be undertaken as separate construction projects properly authorized, approved, bid, and awarded.
The most common improper change order presented to the Office of Facilities Planning is one expending unencumbered funds. Most often this occurs near the end of a project and the proposed change order introduces types of work that were not included in the original plans and specifications. Change orders for such work will not be approved for building aid. Had a shopping list of desirable items been included in the original plans and specifications as add alternates, change orders to effect such alternates would be approved.
Following are some specifics about change orders:
The Commissioner must approve all change orders, even when they are applied to allowances and contingency funds.
Each signed change order must be submitted to Facilities Planning with a fully executed Change Order Certification form.
The President of the Board of Education, the architect/engineer, and the contractor shall sign each change order.
The SED Project Control Number and the name of the SED Project Manager must appear on each change order.
There must be sufficient detail and technical data to denote:
What work proposed for addition or deletion is being done; provide a detailed explanation of what is being done, including drawings that are supplied to the contractor.
Why it is being done; provide a detailed explanation of why the work is required.
The cost of the change order; and
The revised contract total.
All approved change orders are part of the official plans and specifications for the project and must be carefully filed with the approved documents. If there are any questions concerning change orders, particularly whether the intended work is appropriate for a change order, contact either the Project Manager or the Architect/Engineer in our office that reviewed and approved the initial project.
Facilities Planning will approve all change orders that are compliant with the code, however, those that lack sufficient detail to be properly evaluated will be returned. Change orders that clearly depart from the original scope of the project, as well as those that exceed competitive bidding thresholds, may be approved for code compliance but disapproved for building aid. In certain circumstances or emergency situations a district may be able to justify the expense of a large change order. Contact your project manager as early as possible to begin this conversation to avoid having change orders disapproved for building aid.
The District must be able to justify that issuing a change order to an existing contract instead of initiating a new public bid for the proposed work is in the best interest of the district. It is the district’s responsibility to understand these requirements and abide by them in order to maximize the building aid associated with a project and perform capital upgrades in compliance with the Education law, General Municipal Law, and the Opinion’s of the State Comptroller.
A. ELIGIBLE ITEMS FOR BUILDING AID
Mold and Mildew
Cementitious Decks (gypsum, insulating concrete, wood fiber)
Masonry Restoration (including repointing)
Unit Masonry (brick, block, structural tile)
Metal Decking (floor deck, roof deck)
Structural Metal Framing (structural steel, framing systems)
Metal Fabrications (stairs, ladders, railings, gratings - must be a building element, NOT part of site development)
Wood and Plastics
Architectural Woodwork (built in wood cabinets and casework only)
Finish Carpentry (millwork, laminates, paneling)
Thermal and Moisture Protection
Built-up Bituminous Roofing
Shingles & Roofing Tiles
Fireproofing (boards, sprayed)
Insulation (Building/Roof) (batts, blankets, boards, foamed-in-place, sprayed)
Preformed Roofing & Siding
Roof Specialties & Accessories (vents, curbs, hatches)
Sealants & Caulking
Waterproofing/Dampproofing (membranes, fluid applied) (NEW construction only!)
Doors and Windows
Glazed Curtain Walls
Glazing (glass, tempered, wired, plastics)
Metal Doors and Frames
Special Doors (sliding, folding, accordion, overhead, grilles)
Wood and Plastic Doors
Wood and Plastic Windows
Acoustic Treatment (ceilings, walls, space units,insulation)
Lath and Plaster
Painting / Fire Resistant Paints (must be original furnishing directly related to a capital construction project)
Tile (ceramic, quarry, mosaic)
Wall Coverings (vinyl coated, fabric, wallpaper) (must be original frnishing directly related to a capital construction project)
Compartments (Toilet) & Cubicles
Operable Partitions (folding, accordion, sliding)
Elevators / Wheelchair Lifts
Material Handling Systems
Pre-engineered Structures (modulars, portables, greenhouse attachments)
Solar Energy System apparatus (pumps, wiring, controls)
HEATING AND VENTILATING
Air Handling (air handling units, fans, ventilators)
Boilers (burners, accessories)
Building Systems Control (energy management computer system)
Control Systems (electric, electronic, pneumatic)
Fuel Fired Heaters (rooftop units)
Fuel Handling Systems (fuel oils system, tanks, etc.)
Heating Terminal Units (unitventilators, convectors, radiation)
Packaged Air Conditioners/ Heat Pumps
Drainage & Vent System
Fire Protection Systems (sprinklers, standpipes, foam & chemical extinguishing systems)
Gasoline (Diesel) Dispensing System
Roof Drainage system
Water Supply (Domestic) System
Alarm & Detection Systems (fire, smoke detection, intrusion)
Communication System (clock & program, intercommunication, public address, telephone)
Lighting (fixture replacement only: not lamp and ballast retrofit)
Service & Distribution
Standby Power Generation System
Television System (CCTV system: not standalone TVs!)
II. INCIDENTAL TO CONSTRUCTION
COMPUTERS, SOFTWARE AND COMPUTER AID POLICY
Computer software: software to run network is aidable. Educational software is not aidable under building aid.
Computers: aidable if part of a bona fide NEW secondary computer classroom or new building.
Computer hardware purchase and installation, including conduits, wiring and powering and testing of hardware installations, are currently eligible for Building Aid if the cost is less than $10,000 but the installation is part of a larger construction project whose cost does exceed $10,000. Such installations for which the cost is greater than $10,000 are also eligible if the specific installation is approved by the Commissioner.
Bill Section 500 of Chapter 170 of the Laws of 1994 applies the above policy guidelines to capital expenditures of less than $10,000 for acquisition of the described technology. Therefore, such expenditures may now be claimed for Building Aid even when total expenditures are less than $10,000.
Computer elements eligible for aid are:
- Incidental costs for computer equipment installed as original equipment in a new building or a new addition.
- Approved computer classrooms in new buildings/additions, or alterations to an existing classroom to create a new computer classroom.
- Incidental costs for original purchase and installation of hardware (including computer hardware)
- Conduit, wiring, and powering and testing of hardware installations.
- Building wide and campus wide local area network (LAN) systems wiring and in- building elements of other wide area networks (WAN):
- Original purchase and installation of conduit, wiring, and powering and testing of hardware installations network server and operating system software.
The following elements are ineligible for Building Aid:
- Individual computer workstation hardware not located in a computer classroom unless claimed as incidental costs as part of the original furnishings and equipment for a new building or addition.
- All cost for software purchase, including application software costs, and costs for installation of software (other than installation of basic operating systems software required for hardware testing).
- All cost associated with lease or purchase of wide area network hardware (leased lines, fiber optic cable, etc.) not located on district property.
- Up-grade of existing LAN or WAN equipment beyond that necessary to interface with new computer classroom installations.
FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT (Original
purchase of furniture and equipment must be specific to construction of NEW
SUPERVISION OF CONSTRUCTION
Clerk of the Works
SERVICES (Costs related to capital construction only)
Survey and Engineering Fees
LEGAL SERVICES (Only as related to capital construction project)
Rights of Way
Library/Media Center Collection
Note: above items are aidable in NEW space only. New books in a new library built to replace an existing library are not aidable.
SITE WORK, UTILITY & SERVICE SYSTEMS (Must be related to $10,000 of interior capital construction in instructional building/bus garage ONLY)
Ancillary Buildings: Press Boxes are aidable at a NEW building only and is treated as ancillary space under incidental expenses (but will likely push those expenses above the maximum cost allowance)
Athletic Fields: Astroturf
Demolition (ONLY in conjunction with a construction project)
Excavating, Backfilling & Compacting
Grading - Rough/Finish
Landscaping (lawn, turf areas, trees, shrubs)
Paving (roadways, parking areas, walks, tracks, tennis courts): ONLY new site OR complete rehab down to base. Top coating is NOT aidable. Project must include new base, binder and top.
Public Water Service
Sanitary Sewer System – Municipal (only that portion on school property)
Septic System (On Site)
Site Improvements (irrigation, fences, guard rails, playgrounds, playfields, and equipment)
Site Preparation (clearing, stripping)
Subsurface Exploration (borings)
Utility & Service Systems
Utility Electric Service
Utility Gas Service
B. ITEMS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR BUILDING AID
Artwork (paintings, wall hangings,murals)
Audit fees (for Energy Performance Contracts)
Automobiles: Aligning, Balancing
Boiler tubes are aidable ONLY if a major portion of the boiler is reconstructed and re-tubed.
Computers or Calculators for Clerk of the Works
Equipment: lawnmowers, tractors, snowblowers, vacuum cleaners, floor scrubbers, etc. (even with new construction, these items are never aidable).
Musical instruments (under ANY circumstance)
Operations and Maintenance
Refinishing, Resurfacing and Topcoating
Supplies and Materials
Temporary Storm windows
Two-way radios and cellphones used during construction