PA 10-108—sSB 376

Education Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING STATE GRANT COMMITMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS, MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTS FOR SURPLUS EDUCATION FUNDS AND REVISIONS TO CERTAIN LIBRARY STATUTES

SUMMARY: This act authorizes $416. 6 million in grant commitments for 29 new local school construction and interdistrict magnet school projects. It also reauthorizes and increases grant commitments for four previously authorized projects with significant changes in cost and scope. Two are being reauthorized for the first time and two for the second. (By law, districts are limited to two reauthorizations. ) The total increase in grant commitments for the reauthorizations is $10. 82 million.

The act authorizes $4. 6 million in additional general obligation bonds to the State Department of Education (SDE) for capital start-up cost grants for new interdistrict magnet schools needed to help the state meet the goals of the 2008 Sheff v. O'Neill school desegregation settlement.

It overrides contrary statutes, special acts, local charters, and ordinances to allow a town board of finance, board of selectmen in a town with no board of finance, or other appropriating authority for a school district to retain and deposit in a nonlapsing account any unspent funds from the town's total budgeted appropriations for education for the prior fiscal year. The amount deposited in the account in any year is limited to 1% of the school district's total budgeted appropriation for that year ( 32).

The act allows all municipalities to establish and fund public libraries either by action of their legislative bodies or by a petition of at least 50 voters followed by referendum approval. Under prior law, cities could establish libraries only by city council action and towns and boroughs could do so only by a petition and referendum.

Finally, the act waives statutory and regulatory requirements to make specified school construction projects eligible for state grants under certain conditions (“notwithstanding” provisions).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except for the library provisions, which are effective June 1, 2010, and the provisions concerning bonding for Sheff magnet schools and the municipal nonlapsing account, which are effective July 1, 2010.

1 — SCHOOL PROJECTS

New Authorizations

Table 1 lists the 29 new projects authorized.

Table 1: New School Construction Projects Authorized

District

School

Project

Estimated Cost

Estimated Grant

State

Reimburse-ment

Bolton

Bolton High

School

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

$25,412,359

$13,885,313

54. 64%

Bolton

Central Administration (BHS)

Board of education, central administration facility, extension & alteration

830,141

226,795

27. 20%

Capitol Region Education Council (CREC)

Reggio Magnet School of the Arts

New construction/

Interdistrict magnet school

30,069,500

28,566,025

95. 0%

CREC

CREC Medical Profession & Teacher Prep.

New construction/

Interdistrict magnet school

52,115,425

49,509,654

95. 0%

CREC

Greater Hartford Public Safety Academy

New construction/

Interdistrict magnet school

66,486,125

63,161,818

95. 0%

CREC

International Magnet School for Global Citizenship

New construction/

Interdistrict magnet school

26,264,305

24,951,090

95. 0%

Clinton

The Morgan School

Energy conservation

630,700

274,796

43. 57%

Connecticut Science Center

Connecticut Science Center

Alteration/energy conservation/ interdistrict magnet school

2,930,000

2,783,500

95. 0%

East Granby

R. Dudley Seymour School

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

10,307,000

4,638,150

45. 0%

East Granby

Allgrove School

Alteration/energy conservation

1,384,524

623,036

45. 0%

East Granby

Central Administration

Board of education, central administration facility, alteration & energy conservation

58,482

13,158

22. 5%

East Haven

Joseph Melillo Middle School

Alteration/energy conservation

900,000

610,740

67. 86%

East Haven

Momauguin School

Alteration/energy conservation

300,000

203,580

67. 86%

East Haven

Deer Run School

Alteration/energy conservation

400,000

271,440

67. 86%

East Haven

Overbrook School

Alteration/energy conservation

300,000

203,580

67. 86%

Fairfield

Stratfield School

Extension & alteration

17,565,000

4,515,962

25. 71%

Hartford

Bellizzi Middle School

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

13,000,000

10,400,000

80. 0%

Hartford

M. D. Fox Elementary School

Alteration/energy conservation

54,337,500

43,470,000

80. 0%

Hartford

Bulkeley High School

Alteration

700,000

560,000

80. 0%

Manchester

Martin School

Alteration/roof replacement

532,500

346,125

65. 0%

Meriden

Hanover School

Extension & alteration

7,290,700

5,624,046

77. 14%

New Fairfield

Meeting House Hill School

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

27,612,208

9,763,677

35. 36%

Region 18

Lyme-Old Lyme High School

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

47,790,000

17,065,809

35. 71%

Seymour

Paul Chatfield School

Extension & alteration/roof replacement

32,500,000

19,617,000

60. 36%

Stratford

Honeyspot House (Stratford Academy)

New construction

13,850,654

7,815,924

56. 43%

Waterford

Waterford High School

Extension & alteration

68,362,787

23,680,869

34. 64%

West Haven

West Haven High School

Extension & alteration

109,279,000

82,352,654

75. 36%

West Haven

Central Administration (Main Street)

Board of education central administration facility/alteration

3,500,000

1,318,000

37. 68%

Winchester

Pearson Middle School

Alteration

250,000

175,900

70. 36%

Reauthorized Projects

Table 2 lists the four projects proposed for reauthorization because of significant change in cost or scope.

Table 2: Reauthorization of Previously Authorized Projects

District

School

Project

Previous Grant Authorization

New Grant Authorization

Increase

FIRST REAUTHORIZATION

Montville

Central Administration

Board of education central administration facility/alteration

$137,844

$174,480

$36,636

Stamford

Environmental Studies Magnet

New construction/inter-district magnet school

55,100,000

57,793,215

2,693,215

SECOND REAUTHORIZATION

Montville

Montville High School

Extension/alteration

14,040,980

16,147,168

2,106,188

Waterbury

Duggan School

Renovation/extension

24,722,500

30,738,413

6,015,913

2 — SHEFF MAGNET SCHOOL START-UP COSTS

The $4. 6 million in state bond funding for Sheff-related interdistrict magnet schools may be used to purchase buildings or portable classrooms; lease space; and buy equipment, including computers and classroom furniture, for such schools.

33-35 — PROCEDURE FOR ESTABLISHING A PUBLIC LIBRARY

Under prior law, a city could establish and fund a public library only if the mayor, with the city council's approval, appointed a board of nine library trustees. The trustees were required to adopt bylaws and rules and regulations for, and to operate, the library. The law also gave the trustees control over library funds, requiring them to be spent only on duly authenticated vouchers from the board. Under prior law, the only way for a town or borough to establish a public library was for at least 50 of its voters to petition asking for an annual tax of up to 3 mills to fund a library and for the issue to be approved by a majority of the voters at the next regular municipal election.

The act allows all municipalities to use either of these procedures to establish and fund a public library. It extends to boroughs and towns the requirement that any money collected through a municipal library tax be (1) kept in a library fund separate from other municipal funds and (2) withdrawn only on duly authenticated vouchers from the library trustees.

The act also makes technical and conforming changes.

3-31 & 36 — WAIVERS FOR CERTAIN SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS (“NOTWITHSTANDING” PROVISIONS)

The act waives certain statutory and regulatory requirements to make specified school construction projects eligible for state grants under certain conditions as shown in Table 3. These waivers are referred to as “notwithstanding” provisions.

Table 3: Notwithstanding Provisions for Local School Projects

District

School

Project

Requirement(s) Waived

Conditions

3

Bridgeport

Multi-Magnet High School

New school

Begin construction within two years after the General Assembly authorizes a grant commitment for the project

Begin construction by June 30, 2012

4

East Haven

Overbrook Early Learning Center

Roof replacement

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

5

East Haven

Momauguin Elementary School

Roof replacement

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

6

East Haven

Deer Run Elementary School

Roof replacement

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

7

East Haven

Joseph Melillo Middle School

Roof replacement

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

8

Granby

Kelly Lane Intermediate School

Renovation and expansion

Competitive bidding for orders and contracts

Applicable to Change Order # 5 and 6

9

Manchester

Highland Park School

Extension and alteration/ roof replacement

Requirement that description of project type be established at time of application and definition of a renovation project

Town may change project description to a renovation project and qualify as a renovation

10

New Haven

Fair Haven Middle School

Extension and alteration

Requirement that description of project type be established at time of application and definition of a renovation project

Town may change project description to a renovation project and qualify as a renovation

Education commissioner may not modify standard space specifications for the project

11

New Haven

Troup Middle School

Extension and alteration

Requirement that description of project type be established at time of application and definition of a renovation project

Town may change project description to a renovation project and qualify as a renovation

Education commissioner is barred from modifying standard space specifications for the project

The increase in the state grant commitment attributable to the change to a renovation project is limited to $5. 8 million

13

Plainville

Linden Street School

Expansion and alteration

Projected enrollment calculation formula and standard space specifications

Use 553 as projected enrollment

Accept at least 24 out-of-district students under the Open Choice interdistrict attendance program starting in the 2011-12 school year

Meet all other requirements of school construction law and regulations

14

Plainville

Louis Toffolon School

Extension and alteration/roof replacement

Requirement that project scope be established at time of application

Expand scope to include an installation of a solar panel system

15

Plainville

Louis Toffolon School

Extension and alteration/roof replacement

Competitive bidding for orders and contracts

Applicable to the portion of the project for installation of a solar panel system

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

16

Plainville

Louis Toffolon School

Extension and alteration/roof replacement

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

17

Ridgefield

Ridgefield High School

Extension and alteration/roof replacement

Projected enrollment calculation formula and standard space specifications

Use 1,798 as projected enrollment

Meet all other requirements of school construction law and regulations

18

Ridgefield

Ridgefield High School

Expansion and alteration/roof replacement

Square footage limits

Use 314,317 square feet as maximum square footage

19

Ridgefield

Ridgefield High School

Extension and alteration/roof replacement

Competitive bidding for orders and contracts

Applicable to the portion of the project for expansion and alteration at Ridgefield High

20

Tolland

Unspecified

Purchase of site and new construction project

Projected enrollment and eligible costs

Tolland not responsible for returning any portion of grant already paid prior to the act's passage based on enrollment figure of 1,200

SDE not responsible for making any more grant payments based on that figure

21

Waterbury

Carrington School

Extension and alteration changed to new construction

Requirement that projects that have changed in scope be included on annual priority list and submitted to the General Assembly

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

22

West Hartford

Norfeldt Elementary School

Partial roof replacement

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

23

Windham

Windham Interdistrict Magnet School

Off-site connection to sanitary sewer and public water service utilities

Ineligible costs

Windham must:

show that the off-site connection costs less than an on-site well and sewer, and

ensure that no one other than the school will connect to the off-site connection

24

Region 18

Lyme-Old Lyme High School

Extension and alteration/roof replacement changed to renovation

Requirement that (1) a description of project type be established at time of application and (2) at least 75% of a building to be renovated be at least 30 years old

Town may change project description to a renovation project and qualify as a renovation

25

Region 18

Lyme-Old Lyme High School

Extension and alteration/roof replacement changed to renovation

Requirement that a renovation project to an existing facility cost less that building a new facility

Town may proceed with renovation project without submitting a cost analysis of the project prepared by an independent licensed architect prior to final plan approval

26

Bethel

Frank A. Berry Elementary School

Renovation and expansion

Projected enrollment calculation formula and standard space specifications

Use 597 as projected enrollment

Meet all other requirements of school construction law and regulations

27

Bethel

Frank A. Berry Elementary School

Renovation and expansion

Square footage limits

Use 71,640 square feet as maximum square footage for the project

28

Middletown

Middletown High School

New school

Requirement that project scope be established at time of application

Expand scope to include construction of an emergency access to Cynthia Lane

29

Middletown

Middletown High School

New school

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

30

Bristol

Jennings School

Roof replacement

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

31

Brookfield

Center Elementary School

Asbestos removal

Timing of bid and plan approval by SDE's Bureau of School Facilities

Bureau approval of plans and specifications

36

Shelton

Shelton Intermediate School

New school

Statutes and regulations concerning site acquisition costs

None. The state must reimburse Shelton for site acquisition costs.

12 — Grant Repayment Exemption for Norwich

By law, a town that takes a public school building project that received a state school construction grant out of service or redirects it to a nonschool use within 20 years after the building received a school construction grant of $2 million or more or 10 years for a smaller grant, must refund the unamortized grant balance to the state. The act exempts Norwich from the requirement to repay unamortized balances totaling up to $250,000 if it redirects one or more schools before June 30, 2010. Norwich must notify SDE by June 30, 2010 which school buildings it will redirect.

BACKGROUND

School Construction Grants

The state reimburses school districts for between 20% and 80% of the eligible costs of local school construction projects. The reimbursement rate depends mostly on town wealth but districts may receive a higher reimbursement for certain types of projects, such as those involving space for school-readiness programs or full-day kindergartens. In addition, certain types of interdistrict projects (vocational agricultural centers, regional special education facilities, and interdistrict magnet schools) are reimbursed at the rate of 95% of eligible costs. Districts also receive a 10-percentage-point bonus for projects undertaken in cooperation with one or more other districts. Board of education central administration facility projects are reimbursed at half the district's otherwise applicable rate. Grants are paid from state general obligation bond funds.

OLR Tracking: JSL: KM: PF: ts