Rhode Island School Building Authority 

The State of Rhode Island is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities for all public school students. School facilities provide more than a place for instruction. The physical learning environment contributes to the successful performance of educational programs. 

With assistance from the School Building Authority Advisory Board, the School Building Authority will ensure that all approved projects provide high quality learning environments, conserve natural resources, consume less energy, are easier to maintain, and provide educationally appropriate school facilities.  This includes overseeing and managing two distinct funding mechanisms for school facilities: the Housing Aid Program and the School Building Authority Capital Fund. The School Building Authority will continue to provide assistance as schools and districts undertake the multi-stage Necessity of School Construction Application to identify school facilities’ needs across the schools and districts buildings. 

Build Upon What Works:

These changes to the oversight and management of school construction are building on the solid foundation of work undertaken by the General Assembly, the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, and the RI Department of Education.  The School Construction Program, through the oversight of the School Construction Regulations, has set in place fiscal prudence and effective planning practices that have substantially reduced school construction approvals.  

Districts will continue to complete the Necessity of School Construction application – to ensures that all approved projects provide high quality learning environments – and will continue to receive reimbursement based on their share ratios (reimbursement rates) for completed projects.   Projects not funded through the School Building Authority Capital Fund will still be eligible under the existing Housing Aid System.

 

Additional Information

Legislative Changes to School Construction (effective 7/1/15)

Legislative Changes to School Construction Management and Oversight (effective 7/1/15):

  1. Moratorium on school construction lifted and creation of new funding mechanism.
  2. Creation of a SBA Capital Fund to provide upfront funding of school construction projects on a progress payment basis. There will be an annual application process, in addition to the traditional housing aid forms. School Building Authority Capital Fund application.
  3. The creation of a SBA Advisory Board, which shall advise the SBA regarding the use of the SBA Capital Fund, including statewide priorities, criteria for approval, and recommendations for project approval and prioritization.
  4. Necessity of School Construction applications will no longer be accepted on a rolling basis, pursuant to RIGL 16-7-41.1(d). LEAs will be invited to apply for new approvals on an annual basis, with Council on Elementary and Secondary Education consideration occurring in May.New Necessity of School Construction Approval Timeline  
  5. Each LEA shall develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive asset protection plan for every school building. Only LEAs that have adequate asset protection plans are eligible to apply for the SBACF. If an LEA fails to provide asset protection information to the SBA in a fiscal year, they are not eligible to receive SBACF the next fiscal year.
  6. Loans from the SBA Capital Fund do not require General Assembly approval, pursuant to RIGL 16-7-44.
  7. At least every five (5) years, the State will conduct a needs survey to ascertain the capital construction, adequacy standards, educational facility planning, maintenance and other capital needs for every public school in the state. 

School Building Authority Capital Fund

The School Building Authority Capital Fund (SBA Capital Fund) is a funding mechanism created in the FY 2016 State Budget that is designed to provide upfront funding for projects.  By doing so, Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly sought to expedite high priority projects while reducing the burden of financing costs from State and municipal budgets. 

The FY 2017 State Budget allocated $80M in School Construction Aid, of which $70.9M is for housing aid and $9.1M for School Building Authority Capital Fund projects. The objective of the FY 2017 School Building Authority Capital Fund is to address high priority projects in communities with limited financial capabilities.  

Through an application process, all districts will have access to upfront progress payments funding to prioritize and expedite high priority projects with the ultimate goal of improving the health and well being of students and staff.

Applications are due September 9, 2016.


FY 2017 School Building Authority Capital Fund application
 

SBA Capital Fund Application Changes Overview

Frequently Asked Questions

Capital Reserve Commitment Template

Requesting Progress Payments 

Awarded LEAs can submit a processed invoice (AIA or similar document) to the School Building Authority by the 5th of each month. LEAs should send scanned invoices and a Progress Payment Request Form to SBACapitalFund@ride.ri.gov

RIDE will contact LEAs after receipt of a submission to begin the Progress Payment Request.   

Progress Payment Process Overview 

 


FY 2016 SBA Capital Fund Recap
 

On October 20, 2015 the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education approved 86 "shovel ready" projects to receive $19.4M of School Building Authority Capital Fund progress payments. 

FY 2016 School Building Authority Capital Fund Projects

School Building Authority Webinar & FAQs

School Building Authority Launch Event - Webinar Recap (Office 2013 compatible). 

Webinar

Frequently Asked Questions

School Construction Regulations

The School Construction Program is governed by the School Construction Regulations (SCR), adopted by the Board of Regents in 2007. The SCR sets standards for design and construction of school facilities, in order to assist schools and districts in providing the quality learning environment necessary for children to perform at higher levels.

School Construction Regulations [PDF, 493 KB]

Necessity of School Construction Application Guidance

The Necessity of School Construction Application is accepted on an annual basis. Letters of Intent are due to the School Building Authority by August 1, 2016. 

Necessity of School Construction Information and Instructions are provided to inform and guide LEAs through the rigorous process. Once projects receive Council on Elementary and Secondary Education approval, they are eligible for housing aid reimbursement upon project completion or capital fund progress payments through School Building Authority Capital Fund.

Necessity of School Construction Guidance [PDF, 379 KB] Updated for FY 2017

Necessity of School Construction Process Overview

Design Reviews and Construction Phase Guidance [PDF, 418 KB]

Northeast Collaborative of High Performing Schools (NECHPS)

As part of the School Construction Regulations, projects shall comply with all requirements set forth in the most recent NECHPS protocol so that approved projects provide high quality learning environments, conserve natural resources, consume less energy, are easier to maintain, and provide an enhanced school facility.

NE CHPS Protocol [PDF, 1,930 KB]
Operations and Maintenance Guidance [PDF, 1,300 KB]
High Performance Schools Scorecard [XLS, 137 KB]
RI High Performance Schools Template [XLS, 6,797 KB]

Statewide Assessment & Prioritization Planning

Public Schoolhouse Assessment

This report evaluates the capacities and building conditions in Rhode Island schools to help the Board of Regents of Elementary and Secondary Education determine the necessity of school construction and to foster statewide uniformity in school building quality. The report is based on data the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) gathered for school year 2011–12.

Public Schoolhouse Assessment [PDF]

Johnston Facility Rating Information (received 5/31/13)

School Closing Information

A district must notify RIDE in writing six month prior to the sale, lease, demolition, or other removal from service of any school facility in the district’s jurisdiction by completing the school closing form. In the event of a proposed closure, a district shall inform neighboring LEAs of the proposed action in the event that an LEA may wish to acquire the building for its own use.

If the building has received school construction payments (housing aid) from RIDE, and has not remained in service for 50 years, RIDE may recapture at its discretion a portion of the housing aid reimbursement.

School Closure Form [DOC, 48 KB]

Related Documents & Links