Necessity of School Construction

The Necessity of School Construction Application is accepted on an annual basis. Stage I application is due to the School Building Authority by September 15, 2024 and February 15, 2025.

The Necessity of School Construction process is a multi-stage application that requires LEAs to conduct thorough facility assessments toward the creation of an efficient and prudent masterplan.  Once reviewed and vetted, the School Building Authority will recommend projects for approval by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. Approved projects are eligible for State aid through one of three mechanisms: Housing Aid reimbursement, School Construction Bond pay-as-you-go funding, or SBA Capital Fund progress payments.

Photo of a school

2024-2025 Necessity of School Construction Deadlines

 Spring Approval Timeline

  • Stage I - by September 15, 2024    
  • Stage II - by February 15, 2025    
  • Council Approval - May 2025 

Fall Approval Timeline

  • Stage I - by February 15, 2025
  • Stage II - by September 15, 2025
  • Council Approval - December 2025

Necessity of School Construction Process Overview
Funding Options
2023 Square Foot Cost Guidance

The Necessity of School Construction process is a multi-stage application that requires LEAs to conduct thorough assessments toward the creation of an efficient and prudent masterplan.


Stage I begins with LEAs submitting a Letter of Intent, as well as a commitment to follow the School Construction Regulations and all applicable statutes and regulations. During Stage I, LEAs conduct facility conditions assessments, prepare demographic projections, and provide educational programs for each school facility. Through the careful study of these factors LEAs attain a comprehensive understanding of districtwide capacity, enrollment trends, and the alignment of existing facilities to the educational program being offered in each school.


During Stage II, LEAs work with an architectural and engineering team to propose solutions to the identified issues. This process requires the development of schematic design documentation that can be used to provide dependable cost estimates. These scope descriptions and the accompanying costs are the basis for establishing a budget and project descriptions that are forwarded to the SBA Advisory Board and the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.

Design reviews must be conducted for all projects that are part of a multi-year capital improvement plan that exceeds $500,000, regardless of eligibility for housing aid.

Architectural, engineering, project management, construction management, financial, and other professional services shall be procured by the districts for all projects. Design reviews will be conducted through in-person meetings at each stage of the design process. Design review meetings will be scheduled by district representatives or their designees.

Necessity Of School Construction Stage III Guidance – Design Reviews

Pre-Construction Certification Form

Design Review Portal 

Effective August 8, 2020, all design documents must be submitted through the Design Review Portal in order to be reviewed and approved

In an effort to better serve our LEAs by streamlining the design review of school construction projects, the School Building Authority has created a new online Design Review Portal.  LEAs and their vendors can submit Schematic Design, Design Development, and/or Construction Document for review after all required materials are uploaded into the portal. LEAs have the option to request a meeting with the School Building Authority through their submissions.

As the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education has approved over $1B in projects between May 2019 and May 2020, design documents must be submitted at least two weeks prior to anticipated review. LEAs and their vendors should plan accordingly as all approved projects require design reviews to be eligible for State Aid, per the School Construction Regulations,

 Superintendents and business managers will be emailed login information this weekend. Users are able to create accounts for other users in the district and for their consultants. If you have any questions or do not receive login information please contact the School Building Authority at  

Enter the Design Review Portal

Video on how to use the Design Review Portal

Approved projects that have completed the Necessity of School Construction process are eligible for State aid through one of two mechanisms: Housing Aid reimbursement or SBA Capital Fund progress payments.

Annual Maintenance Expenditure Reporting

Beginning in FY 2019, LEAs' annual facility maintenance expenditures must meet one of the following three requirements: a percentage of operating budget, a percentage of replacement value, or a minimum of $3 per square foot of building space, adjusted for inflation.  Definitions, eligible expenses and frequently asked questions are available as part of the Ongoing Facility Maintenance Guidance

The SBA has provided a list of FY 2024 Facility Maintenance Expenditures Thresholds by LEA. This information was derived from LEA operating budget submissions through UCOA reporting and data from the Statewide Assessment. 

Official reporting of maintenance expenditures occurs as part of the Housing Aid submission due each year on July 15th. LEAs are also required to submit detailed maintenance expenditure information as part of Asset Protection. To streamline the reporting process of this information, the School Building Authority (SBA) at RIDE has modified the existing Asset Protection Plan reporting system on eRIDE to include maintenance. Submission of the Asset Protection Plan satisfies both the annual requirement to update Asset Protection Plans (RIGL 16-105-5), but also provides details to the Maintenance Expenditure Housing Aid form (RIGL 16-7-23).

Asset Protection

Districts are required to provide annual asset protection plans pursuant to the School Construction Regulations. The collection of Asset Protection Plans occurs on ERIDE to improve accuracy and allow for greater ease in completing the forms. 

To access this website, Business Managers or other authorized users should log in to ERIDE. If you do not have an ERIDE account or are unable to access the Asset Protection Plan link, please email Once logged in to eRIDE, there will be an Asset Protection Plan icon located at the bottom of your screen.

Asset Protection Plans for FY 22 are due by June 30 2023Pursuant to RIGL 16-105-5(c) only LEAs that provide Asset Protection Plan information are eligible to apply for the School Building Authority Capital Fund.

Asset Protection and Maintenance Reporting User Manual