CHAPTER 349. SCHOOL BUILDING STANDARDS
349.2. Substantiated need.
349.3. Building educational specifications.
349.4. Space relationships.
349.5. Building space allocation.
349.6. Building design.
349.7. Approval of sites.
349.8. Site analysis.
349.9. Advanced acquisition of sites.
349.10. Project cost constraints.
349.11. Aggregate building expenditure standard; Act 34 of 1973.
349.12. Public hearings on school projects; district.
349.13. Information required.
349.14. Department hearings.
349.15. Approval of preliminary plans.
349.16. Construction codes and guidelines.
349.17. Project cost estimates.
349.18. Final approval of plans.
349.19. Final approval of bid specifications and bids.
349.20. Approval of bond issues; amortization payments.
349.21. Approval of final costs.
349.22. Use of surplus fundsapproval.
349.23. Site reimbursement considerations.
349.24. Building and equipment reimbursement considerations.
349.25. Amortization payment claims.
349.26. Closing out amortization payments.
349.27. Fund position statement.
349.28. Closing of school buildings.
349.29. Building use by other agencies or groups.
349.30. Sale or lease of school buildings.
349.31. Insurance recovery on school buildings.
349.32. Department guidelines to implement standards, regulations, laws.
349.33. Secretarys advisory committee.
349.34. Use of facilities for emergency period.
The provisions of this Chapter 349 issued under the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 15-1504); and The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 118.1), unless otherwise noted.
§ 349.1. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
Architectural areaThe sum of the areas of the several floors, including basements, mezzanine and intermediate floored tiers and penthouses of headroom height (6'-6" minimum), measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the center line of walls separating buildings; covered walkways, open roofed-over areas that are paved shall have the architectural area multiplied by an area factor of 0.50; architectural area does not include such features as pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys and roof overhangs.
DepartmentThe Department of Education of the Commonwealth.
Existing valueThe proportionate value which an existing structure plus necessary alterations thereto will bear to the reimbursable value of a completed educational facility.
Long term leaseA lease of at least 5 years but not more than 40 years.
Maximum building construction costIncludes general construction, heating and ventilating, plumbing, electrical, other structural expense, fixtures and equipment, and architectural and engineering fees on these items; the maximum building construction cost does not include rough grading, necessary grouting or shoring, excavation outside the building perimeter, special foundations, access roads, costs of utilities to and on the site, curbing and walks required by local ordinance, sewage disposal, site development, site acquisition, and architectural and engineering fees on these items; the cost of fixtures and equipment is not included in the maximum building construction cost for area vocational-technical schools.
Maximum project costBuilding construction cost, plus all other costs of the project proposal including land, grading, fees, and the like.
Rough gradingConfined to clearing and grubbing a site of natural growth, fences, surface fieldstone, stumps, and such cut and fill as may be required to meet the established standard finish grades; rough grading shall not include such items as finished roadways and walks, demolition of buildings, strip mining of coal, mining of any minerals, supporting of mine roofs to prevent subsidence, or similar operations.
Scheduled areaIncludes instructional spaces such as classrooms, laboratories, planetaria, observatories, student project rooms, student activity rooms, seminar rooms, shops, band and chorus stations, physical education stations and other areas which accommodate direct student instruction; also includes general use areas such as libraries, instructional materials centers, locker and shower rooms, team rooms, instructors offices, multi-purpose rooms, cafeteriasincluding kitchen and storage, auditoriumsincluding stage, health and first-aid rooms, and faculty rooms; administrative office suitesincluding conference roomsare also included; service areas, such as general storage, toilet rooms, custodian rooms, maintenance areas, utilities areas are not included; circulation areas such as hallways and stairways are not included.
Usable acreageAcreage which has or which can reasonably be prepared to have slopes and gradients which will accommodate the educational, structural, operational, aesthetic and community purposes for which a school site is acquired.
§ 349.2. Substantiated need.
(a) Options. An applicant school district shall submit a review of the building program options it considered, including an analytical justification for the selected option.
(b) Enrollment projections. Enrollment projections shall be calculated in a manner approved by the Department and shall extend for at least 11 years and to a year divisible by five.
(c) Full-time student equivalent allowances. Full-time student equivalent allowances shall be as follows:
(1) Regular elementary and secondary students1.00 FTE.
(2) Half-time kindergarten students.50 FTE.
(3) Special Education students: Educable Mentally Retarded2.00 FTE; Trainable Mentally Retarded Elementary2.50 FTE; Trainable Mentally Retarded Secondary2.00 FTE; Severely and Profoundly Retarded3.50 FTE; Socially and Emotionally Disturbed2.50 FTE; Brain Injured2.50 FTE; Learning Disabled2.50 FTE; Physically Handicapped2.50 FTE; Hearing Impaired, Speech and Language Impaired, and Visually Handicapped equivalents shall be negotiable and based upon program characteristics; if a Resource Room, for itinerant or part-time, or both, programs, such as Gifted, is to be included, an additional 1.00 FTE may be allotted for each 25 students in regular project enrollmentto a maximum of 25 FTE.
(4) Vocational-technical students while in home school.60 FTE.
(5) Maximum allowances for vocational-technical shop/laboratory stations. Maximum allowances for vocational-technical shop/laboratory stations, in half-time student terms, shall be:
(i) Agriculture. Agricultural Production44 at 1.08 FTE, Agricultural Supplies44 at .60 FTE, Agricultural Mechanics44 at 1.08 FTE, Agricultural Products44 at .60 FTE, Agricultural Resources44 at .60 FTE, Forestry44 at 1.08 FTE, Horticulture44 at .90 FTE, Floriculture44 at .90 FTEAgricultural Technology44 at .90 FTE.
(ii) Business Education. Accounting40 at .48 FTE, Business Data Processing40 at .60 FTE, Clerical40 at .60 FTE, Stenographic/Secretarial40 at .72 FTE.
(iii) Distributive Education. Distributive Education40 at .60 FTE, Warehousing40 at .90 FTE.
(iv) Health Occupations. Dental Assistant40 at .60 FTE, Dental Laboratory Technician40 at .60 FTE, Health Assistant40 at .60 FTE, Medical Assistant40 at .60 FTE, Medical Laboratory Assistant40 at .60 FTE, Practical Nursing (Postsecondary)40 at .90 FTE, Home Health Management Assistant40 at .60 FTE, Nurses Aide/Nursing Assistant40 at .60 FTE.
(v) Home Economics. Care and Guidance of Children40 at .72 FTE, Clothing Management, Production and Service40 at .60 FTE, Food Management, Production and Service40 at .60 FTE. Dining Room Practice15 at .60 FTE, Home Furnishing, Equipment and Service40 at .60 FTE, Institutional and Home Management40 at .60 FTE.
(vi) Technical and Industrial. Aircraft Maintenance40 at 1.08 FTE, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration40 at .60 FTE, Architectural Technology44 at .48 FTE, Appliance Repair40 at .60 FTE, Automotive Body and Fender40 at 1.08 FTE, Automotive Mechanics40 at 1.08 FTE, Audio-Visual Communications40 at .60 FTE, Building Construction Occupation40 at .90 FTE, Building Trades Maintenance40 at .72 FTE, Business Machine Maintenance40 at .48 FTE, Cabinetmaking and Millwork40 at .90 FTE, Carpentry40 at .90 FTE, Chemical Technology40 at .48 FTE, Civil Technology44 at .48 FTE, Commercial Art44 at .48 FTE, Commercial Photography44 at .48 FTE, Cosmetology40 at .90 FTE, Diesel Mechanic40 at 1.08 FTE. Drafting, Occupations and Technology44 at .48 FTE, Dressmaking40 at .48 FTE, Electricity Construction and/or Maintenance40 at .90 FTE, Electrical Technology44 at .72 FTE, Electronics Technology44 at .48 FTE, Fabric Maintenance Service40 at .72 FTE, Foundry40 at .90 FTE, Graphic Arts44 at .72 FTE, Heating40 at .72 FTE, Industrial Electrician40 at .72 FTE, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic40 at .72 FTE, Instruments Maintenance and Repair40 at .48 FTE, Instrumentation Technology44 at .48 FTE, Interior Decorating40 at .72 FTE, Machine Shop40 at .90 FTE, Masonry/Bricklaying40 at .90 FTE, Mechanical Production Technology44 at .48 FTE, Metal Fabrication40 at .90 FTE, Metallurgical Technology44 at .48 FTE, Painting and Decorating40 at .72 FTE, Patternmaking40 at .72 FTE, Plastics40 at .60 FTE, Plumbing40 at .72 FTE, Quantity Food Occupations40 at .60 FTE, Radio and Television40 at .48 FTE, Scientific Data Processing40 at .60 FTE, Sheet Metal40 at .60 FTE, Shoe Manufacturing and Repair40 at .48 FTE, Small Engine Repair40 at .60 FTE, Tailoring40 at .48 FTE, Textile Production and Fabrication40 at .60 FTE, Tool and Die Technology40 at .90 FTE, Upholstering40 at .60 FTE, Waiters and Waitresses15 at .60 FTE, Welding40 at .72 FTE. In all instances, the maximum student allowance for large two teacher station shop/laboratories shall be 1.75 times the allowance for a single station. Student allowance for any shop/laboratory shall be related to proposed size and shall be approved as a part of program approval by the Department.
(6) District administration. If district administration offices are to be included in the project, an allowance of 1.2 FTE secondary students may be assigned for each position justified for housing therein.
(7) Natatorium. If a district-wide natatorium is included in the project, the maximum allowance shall be 31 FTE secondary students.
(d) Nonresident students. Justified enrollment for a project may include Special Education students from other schools and other school districts, provided that evidence of both need and program planning are submitted by the applicant school district. Justified enrollment may, with specific Department of Education approval, include other nonresident students.
(e) Vocational-technical need. Department approval of an educational program for a new vocational-technical school or for a vocation-technical addition to an existing school, shall be considered by the Division of Physical Plant and Construction as substantiation of the need for the school or addition.
§ 349.3. Building educational specifications.
(a) Planning. The introductory statements for educational specifications shall explain the consistency between the submission and the goals, objectives, and activities set forth in the districts approved long range educational plan.
(b) Vocational-technical schools. Educational specifications for a vocational-technical school facility shall be approved by the Bureau of Vocational, Technical and Continuing Education, prior to their submission for approval by the Division of Physical Plant and Construction.
§ 349.4. Space relationships.
Vocational-technical schools. Approval of space relationship plans for a vocational-technical facility by the Bureau of Vocational, Technical and Continuing Education shall be a prerequisite for such approvals by the Division of Physical Plant and Construction.
§ 349.5. Building space allocation.
(a) Elementary schools. The amount of space included in the schedule of space allocations for an elementary school shall approximate 58 square feet for each student in approved full-time equivalent project enrollment.
(b) Secondary schools. The amount of space included in the schedule of space allocations for a secondary school shall approximate 78 square feet for each student in approved full-time equivalent project enrollment.
(c) Exceptions. Any departure of 10% or more from the established expectancy levels for the scheduled area of a project shall require justification and approval from the Department.
(d) Adjustments to approved project enrollment. The Department will make proportionate deduction adjustments in approved enrollment for any departure from expectancy levels for scheduled space which does not receive its approval.
(e) Special Education space. Space allocated for Special Education purposes may be converted to other uses after approval for such conversion has been granted by the Secretary of Education.
(f) Vocational-technical space. The amount of space required for voca- tional-technical shop facilities shall be determined in conjunction with program approval by the Bureau of Vocational, Technical and Continuing Education. Prior to their opening and occupancy, new or additional vocational-technical facilities and equipment shall be inspected by the Department. Their readiness for occupancy and their eligibility for State and Federal vocational education program reimbursement shall be determined following the inspection.
§ 349.6. Building design.
(a) Design tolerances. Any design ratio of architectural space to scheduled space which exceeds 1.58 to 1.0 shall require approval from the Department.
§ 349.7. Approval of sites.
(a) Approvable size. Usable acreage as follows shall be considered optimum: elementary schools10 acres; schools for middle grades20 acres, schools for high school grades35 acres; and part-time vocational-technical schools15 acres.
(1) In general, maximum approvable site sizes shall be the stated optimum, plus one acre for each 100 full-time equivalent students in projected enrollment.
(2) Minimum approvable site sizes shall consider factors related to land availability, proximate shared use land, and other reasonable considerations.
(b) Reimbursable size. The Department will be flexible in its determination of the reimbursable acreage within an approved school site. The projected school educational program shall be a principal determinant.
§ 349.8. Site analysis.
Advisory committee. When further information upon a site, or alternate sites is deemed necessary by the Department, the Secretary of Education may require the submission of a report from a locally appointed advisory committee. Membership on such committee shall be from among architects, engineers, landscapers, realtors, and other appropriate professionals.
§ 349.9. Advanced acquisition of sites.
When the acquisition of an approved site is at least five years, but less than ten years in advance of long range plan projected need, reimbursement may be paid in the year of acquisition. Such reimbursement shall be subject to conditions established at and provisions in force at the time of approval.
§ 349.10. Project cost constraints.
(a) Method of calculation. The Department will formulate, publish, and make available to applicant school districts, procedures which will permit local determination of compliance with cost constraints established by the regulations of the State Board of Education.
(b) Exceptions. District requests that cost constraint exceptions be approved shall be submitted in writing and shall include justification. Exceptions must be granted prior to Department approval of any project cost estimates.
§ 349.11. Aggregate Building Expenditure Standard; Act 34 of 1973.
(a) Rated pupil capacity. For the purpose of computing the aggregate building expenditure standard of a project, the rated pupil capacity shall be determined on the basis of the method used by the Department for school building reimbursement purposes during the school year 1971-1972.
(b) 1971-1972 method. Rated pupil capacity shall be determined in accordance with the following formulae:
(1) Elementary building. The rated pupil capacity for an elementary building equals the sum of the capacity points for classrooms, special education, kindergarten, in accordance with the following chart:
(2) Secondary building. The rated pupil capacity for a secondary building equals 85% of the sum of the capacity points of all teaching stations in accordance with the following chart:
(3) Addition to building. The rated pupil capacity of a substantial addition shall bear the same ratio to the total project capacity calculated in paragraphs (1) or (2), or both, of this subsection as the area of the addition bears to the area of the total completed project.
(4) Other considerations. Other considerations shall be as follows:
(i) Where District Central Administration facilities are included in a project, the rated capacity shall be increased by 1.3 times the number of positions to be housed in the facility. The student equivalent thus derived shall be counted at the high school (10, 11, 12) cost limit.
§ 349.12. Public hearings on school projects, district.
(a) Adoption of costs. The board of directors shall adopt a maximum project cost and a maximum building construction cost prior to the scheduling of a hearing:
(b) Notice. Notice of the hearing shall be published at least 20 days in advance of the hearing in accordance with section 106 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 1-106). The notice shall include:
(1) the date, the time, and location of the hearing;
(2) the type of facility to be constructed;
(3) the maximum project cost;
(4) the maximum building construction cost;
(5) the availability of a description of the project;
(6) the manner by which a resident may gain agenda time or submit written testimony, or both; and
(7) such other information as is deemed necessary by the board.
(c) Nature The board hearing shall be in the nature of a legislative hearing to receive public comment and shall not be considered an adjudication within the meaning of the Local Agency Law (53 P.S. § § 1130111311).
(d) New hearing. If, as a result of the hearing, the board decides to modify the size or design of a project, a new hearing shall not be required unless the changes are based on a different use for the project, for example, elementary to middle school. Nothing in this section shall prevent the board from holding additional hearings if it so desires.
(e) Second hearing. If, in accordance with the mandates of sections 701.1, 731, 733, and 735 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § § 7-701.1, 7-731, 7-733 and 7-735), a second public hearing is required because the building construction cost upon receipt of bids exceeds by 8.0% or more the estimated costs first submitted to the Department, that hearing shall be properly published in accordance with section 106 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 1-106). Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as preventing the board from advertising such hearing prior to receipt of bids and convening a hearing regardless of the status of the project building construction cost based upon bids.
§ 349.13. Information required.
(a) Description. The board of directors shall cause to be prepared, and made available for the public, at least 20 days prior to the public hearing, a description of the project. The description shall be mailed to the news media in sufficient time for release not later than 14 days prior to the hearing. The description shall include material concerning the need for the project, any alternatives considered, any special features of the project, the direct and indirect costs of the projectincluding a cost analysis of the four alternative methods for financing the direct costs, and the anticipated effect of the direct and indirect costs of the project upon the tax base.
(b) Minutes or transcript. The board of directors shall cause to be prepared and forward to the Department either minutes or a transcript of the locally convened hearing. A proof of proper advertisement of the meeting shall also be submitted.
§ 349.14. Department hearings.
(a) Nature. A Department convened hearing shall be in the nature of a legislative hearing to receive public comment and shall not be considered an adjudication within the meaning of the Local Agency Law (53 P. S. § § 1130111311).
(b) Purpose. The purpose of a Department convened Act 34 hearing shall be to gather information from a variety of local sources in order to promote thoroughness in the deliberations which precede a final decision concerning approval of a project. A statement of that purpose will be contained in each Department press release, and will introduce each hearing.
(c) Initiation. When a thorough investigation of project submissions or citizen complaints, or both, indicates that information submitted at a Department convened hearing could make a significant contribution to the quality of Department deliberations prior to project approval, such hearing will be convened. In no instance shall such hearing be convened prior to Department receipt of properly processed estimated project costs.
(d) Hearing notice. Approximately 20 days, but not less than 14 days prior to the date of a hearing, the Department will cause legal notification to be published in the appropriate legal journal and/or in at least one newspaper with general circulation in the school district, or in both. The legal notice shall contain:
(1) the date, time, and location of the hearing;
(2) the purpose;
(3) the agenda topics;
(4) the time and place of availability of brief Board position statements upon the agenda topics;
(5) the method by which a citizen may gain placement upon the agenda; and
(6) the conditions for submission of testimony without agenda placement.
(e) Agenda topics. Testimony shall be heard separately upon
(1) the need for the project;
(2) project costs;
(3) related program operation costs;
(4) cost projections; and
(5) more issues.
(f) Hearing officer. Each Department convened hearing shall be under the direction of and chaired by an impartial Hearing Officer.
(g) Report. Following review of all submitted testimony and review of any reports of investigations conducted by request to the Department, the Hearing Officer shall submit a full and complete report. The report shall include the recommendations or opinions of the Hearing Officer. A copy of the report shall be forwarded to the applicant school district. Copies shall be made available, for the cost of duplication, to other interested parties.
(h) Department review. Appropriate Department personnel will be assigned to review the testimony and the report of the Hearing Officer. Reactions will be submitted to the Office of the Director of the Bureau of Educational Administration and Management Support Services. If any noncompliance with laws and regulations is determined, project approval will be appropriately withheld, withdrawn, or denied.
(i) Supplemental report. The Office of the Director of the Bureau of Educational Administration and Management Support Services shall determine if any supplement to the report of the Hearing Officer should be forwarded by the Department to the applicant school district.
(j) Effect upon approval. Those aspects of the report, its recommendations, or its opinions which do not concern violation of laws or regulations, will not affect the approvability of the subject project.
(k) Board action. It shall be the responsibility of the board of the applicant district to study the Hearing Officers report and any supplement very closely in order to determine if reconsideration should be accorded the project or any part thereof, and, having concluded its study of the report, the board shall inform the Department in writing of its official actions concerning the report.
(l) Further project approvals. No further processing approvals will be granted by the Department until it has received the report of the official action by the board of the applicant district to the Hearing Officers Report and any Department supplement.
§ 349.15. Approval of preliminary plans.
§ 349.16. Construction codes and guidelines.
(a) Conformance. School Building projects shall conform to one or more of the following construction codes or professional guidelines, or portions thereof in accordance with § 21.72 (relating to construction codes).
CEFP Council of Educational Facilities Planners 29 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus; OH 43210 USSGSL United States Standard Guide for School Lighting 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017 IES Illuminating Engineering Society 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017 ANSI American National Standards Institute 1430 Broadway, New York, NY 10018 ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Airconditioning Engineers United Engineering Center 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017 NPC National Plumbing Code Part of ANSI NEC National Electric Code Part of ANSI AGA American Gas Association 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10016 ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 ASME American Society for Mechanical Engineers United Engineering Center 345 E. 47th Street, New York, NY 10017 NFPA National Fire Protection Association 60 Batterymarch Street, Boston, MA 02110 (Usually included in ANSI) SMACNA Sheet Metal Contractors National AssociationStandards 1611 North Kent Street, Arlington, VA 22209 EFL Educational Facilities Laboratories 477 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022 OSHA Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Harrisburg, PA 17120 BOCA Building Officials and Code Administrators International Inc. 1313 East 60th St. Chicago, IL 60637
(b) Additions. A school district may submit, and the Department will evaluate, written justification of a request to have a particular construction code or professional guideline added to the approved list. The Department will have the authority to establish and enforce guidelines for safety factors not covered by the codes or professional guidelines listed in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Energy Council. Subject to the provisions of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § § 1-10127-2702), for purposes of Department review and approval, minimum construction standards recommended by the Governors Energy Council shall take precedence over the codes and guidelines listed in subsection (a) of this section. Information is available from:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governors Office Energy Council P.O. Box 1323 Harrisburg PA 17120
§ 349.17. Project cost estimates.
(a) Submission. The Department will develop, maintain, and make available methods and procedures through which a local district may prepare and submit cost estimates.
(b) Format consistency. The format for cost estimate submissions shall be consistent with formats for bid cost submissions, final cost submissions in conjunction with audit, project accounting procedures, and related accounting procedures. It shall recognize the necessity to calculate reimbursable costs and cost estimates.
(c) Data required. The format for cost estimate submissions shall permit identification of such fiscal data as is necessary to permit local calculations of mandated and regulatory cost limits and Department evaluation of the calculations.
§ 349.18. Final approval of plans.
(a) Microfilm. Following approval of final plans and bid specifications, an applicant district shall submit two microfilm copies each of the approved construction plans, and the approved bid specifications. The Department will not approve bid costs until such copies have been received.
(b) Changes during construction. Following approval of final plans, further approval by the Department of any plans modification shall be required when such modification:
(1) requires the approval of another state agency.
(2) involves any change in the allocation of space; or
(3) could have some effect upon the health and welfare of the scheduled occupants.
(c) Nonreimbursable projects. Department approval of plans or specifications, or both, for any nonreimbursable project being processed under the terms and conditions of section 731 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 7-731) is a prerequisite for the award of any contract related to the project.
(d) Emergency projects. The Department may exercise discretion concerning the review of plans and specifications for projects which qualify as emergencies in accordance with section 751 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 7-751). If required, plans and specifications may be submitted to Department consideration prior to local board resolution, but no contract shall be awarded prior to their approval.
§ 349.19. Final approval of bid specifications and bids.
(a) Formats. Department approval shall require bid proposal formats which support such cost breakdowns as are requisite to the several constraint, appraisal, and reimbursement calculations.
(b) Contracts. Department approval of proposed contract awards following receipt and analysis of bids shall be a condition for reimbursement thereon.
(c) Contracts for emergency projects. When a school district seeks and the Department grants emergency status for a project in accordance with section 751 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 7-751), solicited quotations for the required construction or installation and a proposed contract award may be forwarded to Department consideration prior to local board resolution. In no instance shall a contract be awarded prior to Department approval.
§ 349.20. Approval of bond issues; amortization payments.
(a) Method. Department approval of project financing methods and amortization schedules shall be a condition for project reimbursement.
(b) Other agencies. An applicant district shall acquire approvals, related to project financing, which are required by other state agencies as a condition for Department approval of project financing.
(c) Refunding of bond issues. When, in its judgment, the refunding of school district bond issues is in the best interest of the Commonwealth or the school district, or both, and consistent with the purposes of the Local Government Unit Debt Act (53 P. S. § § 6780-16780-608) (reenacted, amended, and revised by the act of April 28, 1978 (P. L. 124, No. 52)), the Department will approve and adjust to such refundings; provided that the Commonwealth will share, in appropriate proportion, any savings realized by the refunding; and under no circumstances will the Commonwealths remaining fiscal commitment be increased because of an approved refunding. Any bond fund accumulations for any issues which are to be included in a refunding bond issue must be used to reduce the total amount of the refunding issue.
§ 349.21. Approval of final costs.
(a) Audit required. Final project costs shall not be approved until after submission to and audit of project financial records by the Department.
(b) Subsidy reduction. The Department will withhold a proportion of the estimated annual or semiannual building amortization subsidy until project financial records are properly submitted, audited, and approved. Following project audit, a final subsidy factor shall be determined and appropriate retroactive adjustments authorized.
(c) Changes following bid cost approval. Any change which affects the approved cost of a project or any accounting line item within the approved cost shall be authorized by board action upon a Change Order or a Supplemental Contract. Necessary accounting adjustments shall be properly supported by copies of the Change Order or Supplemental Contract document.
(d) Format. The Department will establish, maintain, and distribute an approved Change Order/Supplemental Contract form.
(e) Extension of contracts; procedure. A board may, following recorded advice from its solicitor concerning advertising or solicitation of bids, exercise discretion concerning the solicitation of sealed quotations or the extension of an existing contract to authorize a Change Order expenditure. Reference should be made to Hibbs v. Arensberg, 276 Pa. 24 (1923).
(f) Supplemental contract. When a proposed change is sufficiently large, or varies from the original plan to such an extent that it can reasonably be considered to be a separate undertaking it shall be processed as a supplemental contract and subject to bid solicitation procedures.
§ 349.22. Use of surplus fundsapproval.
(a) Disposition. Unless specific authorization to the contrary is granted by the Department, all unused contingency funds, interest earnings, and other construction fund accumulations must be used to reduce the amount of the bond issue or other payments against which the Commonwealth grants reimbursement.
(b) Exception. When a trust agreement so permits, the Department may, prior to final project audit, grant permission for the use of unexpended project contingency funds for items originally approved and bid but ultimately excluded because of expected insufficiency of funds.
(c) Compensatory adjustment. When a trust agreement so permits, the Department may, prior to final project audit, grant permission for the use of unexpended project funds for other lawful purposes. When such use is approved by the Department, it will apply a compensatory reimbursable percentage reduction.
§ 349.23. Site reimbursement considerations.
(a) Acquisition. Calculations of the reimbursable cost of an approved school site shall consider appraisals of land value, the proportion of the area which will be usable following development, the anticipated costs of preparation for development, and related continuing costs. Costs of acquisition shall include the usual related legal costs and filing fees.
(b) Rough grading. Determination of the extent of reimbursable rough grading which is necessary to permit proper placement of building upon a site shall consider the necessity for access and egress and the necessity for proximate outdoor areas to accommodate instructional activities.
(c) Sewage treatment. Determination of the reimbursable costs of sewage facilities shall consider the requirements of appropriate State and local agencies and construction cost indices or averages.
(d) Site development. Reimbursable site development costs shall be within mandated project maximums, and shall be limited to paving for reasonable vehicular and pedestrian access and egress, necessary parking, approved instructional areas, and lighting for the immediate building perimeter.
§ 349.24. Building and equipment reimbursement considerations.
(a) Rated pupil capacity. For reimbursement purposes, the rated pupil capacity of a project shall be the product of the justified enrollment of the project and the rated pupil capacity factor of the project.
(1) Justified enrollment. This is the Department approved full-time equivalent project enrollment, calculated in accordance with § 349.2(c) of this title (relating to substantiated need). The maximum project allowance for regular elementary or secondary, or both, students shall be determined by a complete analysis of approved district enrollment projections and a complete analysis of the condition and capacities of the school facilities to be retained by the district following project completion. The justified enrollment for an addition to a school shall be the total of the justified enrollment of the existing facility and the addition multiplied by the percent that the architectural area of the addition constitutes of the architectural area of the completed project.
(2) Rated pupil capacity factor. This factor accounts for the necessary noninstructional space and space utilization conditions in school projects. Applicable factors shall be, in the instance of:
(i) elementary schools with justified enrollment of 500 or less1.4;
(ii) elementary schools with justified enrollment above 500the dif- ference between 1.4 and the product of .00106 for every five students of justified enrollment above 500;
(iii) secondary schools with justified enrollments of 1,000 or less1.110; and
(iv) secondary schools with justified enrollments above 1,0001.105.
(b) Value of existing facilities. The value of existing facilities shall be determined following receipt of bids for a project but prior to Department approval of proposed bid awards.
(c) Existing value; determination. Existing value shall be determined as follows:
(1) determine the total square footage of the existing building with such modifications as may be approved by the Department;
(2) determine the ratio of the existing square footage to the total area of the proposed school facility when it is completed;
(3) multiply the rated pupil capacity of the completed facility by the ratio determined in paragraph (1) of this subsection to determine the proportionate rated pupil capacity of the existing building;
(4) multiply the rated capacity of the existing building as determined in subsection (a)(2) of this section by $2300 for elementary school pupils, $3000 for secondary school pupils, or $3700 for area-technical school pupils; and
(5) from the product thus derived, subtract the cost of alterations submitted to and subsequently approved by the Department following receipt of final bids for the project.
(d) School renovation projects. Renovation of a school building to achieve current educational standards and reasonably current construction standards shall be reimbursable. The Department will maintain guidelines which differentiate between educational renovation and deferred maintenance or structural alteration.
(e) Equipment. The cost of equipment shall fall within mandated reimbursable cost limits. To qualify for reimbursement consideration, an item shall be classified as equipmenteither directly, or by classin Financial Accounting: Classifications and Standard Terminology for Local and State School Systems, published for the United States Office of Education.
§ 349.25. Amortization payment claims.
(a) Forms distribution. The Department will prepare and distribute proper forms for district reimbursement claims against annual or semiannual amortization payments from school district funds.
(b) Submission of receipts. The Department will establish a format for amortization payment receipts from the trustee to the school district which receipts must be submitted by the school district along with any reimbursement request.
§ 349.26. Closing out amortization payments.
(a) Time. When sufficient balances exist in the various fund accounts of an authority, trustee, or depository to redeem outstanding bonds of a bond issue or sinking fund charges and to pay all other expenses related to closing out the project, rental payments or sinking fund payments by the school district shall cease.
(b) Amount. The final district rental or sinking fund payment shall be no more than the amount required to meet the closing obligations, after application of all the fund balancesincluding interest earned on accrued balances.
(c) Reimbursable limit. A districts request for reimbursement for this final payment shall be limited to the actual differential payment made from current school district funds. If the amount contributed by the school district for trustee or administrative expenses over the years has exceeded the actual expenses, the trustee may certify the account surplus as direct payment from the district, and it shall qualify for reimbursement.
§ 349.27. Fund position statement.
For projects financed through a municipal authority, a school district shall require a Fund Position Statement from the authority and the trustee. Such Fund Position Statement shall be submitted for Department consideration at the same time as is the reimbursement claim which most closely approximates two years prior to the anticipated date for retirement of the last outstanding bond.
§ 349.28. Closing of school buildings.
(a) Notification. Any school district which closes a school building to ed- ucational use shall notify the Department prior to such closing. The notification shall include the reason or reasons for such closing and shall describe how the closing contributes to the orderly development of attendance areas.
(b) Approval. When Department approval is a prerequisite for the closing of a school building, such approval will be based upon its conformance to a long-range attendance area plan.
(c) Reimbursement. When a school district closes a school building upon which it is receiving school building reimbursement, the Department mayupon receipt of justificationauthorize the continuation of reimbursement payments thereon. In the absence of such Department authorization, reimbursement shall cease following the amortization payment which next falls due. Should the building be reopened for use as a public school, reimbursement shall be reinstated for amortization payments which fall due following such reopening.
§ 349.29. Building use by other agencies or groups.
Each school district shall establish rules, regulations, and policies concerning the use of school buildings by other agencies or groups. If fees are to be charged, such rules, regulations, or policies shall contain a fee schedule.
§ 349.30. Sale or lease of school buildings.
(a) Replaced buildings. The proceeds from the sale or lease of any school building or buildings which are replaced by a reimbursable school building project shall be placed into a bond redemption fund or otherwise used to reduce the reimbursable amortization of the new project.
(b) Lease for public school purposes. Any closed school building which is leased by a school district to another entity for a public school program or programs shall not be subject to reimbursement cancellation as indicated in § 349.28(c) (relating to closing of school buildings). The proceeds of such lease shall be used to reduce any reimbursable amortization of the building.
(c) Lease for other purposes. Any lease for a building which has been closed to public school use, but which has been approved for continuing reimbursement by the Department, must receive preapproval from the Department. The proceeds from any such approved lease shall be placed in a bond redemption fund, or otherwise used to reduce the reimbursable amortization of the building.
(d) Lease of portions of an operating facility. When a school district leases a portion of an operating public school facility upon which amortization reimbursement is being received, the gross rental receipts shall be placed with the trustee in a bond redemption fund. Such funds, plus interest earned thereon, must be identified and used to reduce the cumulative annual amortization cost of the bond issue.
(e) Lease amount. When a school district enters into a lease for any of its facilities, such lease shall differentiate between amounts of money being received in lieu of maintenance and operation expenses and amounts being received as rental receipts.
§ 349.31. Insurance recovery on school buildings.
§ 349.32. Department guidelines to implement standards, regulations, laws.
(a) Development. The Department will develop, using appropriate advisory assistance, guidelines which will assist local school districts and their representatives in the interpretation and application of this chapter, Part I of this title (relating to State Board of Education), and the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § § 1-10127-2702). The guidelines will be subject to a continuous process of development and revision.
(b) Nature. Guidelines will include, but not be limited to:
(1) recommended best practices related to educational, architectural, and engineering considerations;
(2) instructions for the completion of materials and forms,
(3) examples of required materials and calculations,
(4) listings of minimum requirements; and
(5) Department interpretations of laws and regulations.
(c) Scope. Guidelines shall be developed for those regulations, standards and laws which require clarification or may be clarified by Department interpretation; they shall cover all types of building projects which are processed by the Bureau of Educational Administration and Management Support Services.
§ 349.33. Secretarys advisory committee.
(a) Purpose. The Secretary of Education will establish an advisory committee to advise upon School Building Standards, and upon the formulation and maintenance of guidelines for their implementation.
(b) Composition. Committee membership shall represent persons with appropriate technical expertise: architects, engineers, teachers, school administrators, school board members, medical practitioners and the general citizenry.
(c) Duties. The committee shall, in an annual report, advise upon standards and guidelines directly related to building cost/quality control. It shall, at least once each 3 years, review standards and guidelines; it shall report upon recommended changes and upon anticipated benefits which would accrue during the life cycle of school building facilities.
§ 349.34. Use of facilities for emergency period.
(a) Authorization. The Department may, in instances of justified emergency, grant permission for the housing of educational programs in facilities which were not constructed for school use or, for other reasons, are less than desirable for educational program use.
(b) Evaluation. The Department will, by visit, review of plans or other manner, determine that the facility is suitable for temporary use for the indicated program.
(c) Duration. Permission to use temporary facilities may be approved for a period of 3 years, upon receipt of a statement of the districts intent concerning a permanent solution to the problem. Annual extensions may be granted for just cause.
(d) Condition of approval. Department approval shall be effective only after an applicant district requests and gains clearance for occupancy from the Department of Labor and Industry and other agencies which have jurisdiction. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant district to maintain such clearances for the duration of the Department approved occupancy.
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