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Facilities Planning

Capital Construction Projects - Eligibility for Building Aid


Reference Guide #B.1

For a capital construction project to be eligible for Building Aid, it must meet the following minimum criteria:

  1. The building involved in the project must be used for the instruction of students (that is, it must have a State-rated capacity) or the building must be a school bus facility.
  2. The work must be bonafide capital construction--not maintenance or repair work.
  3. The construction contracts must total at least $10,000 (exclusive of incidental costs).
  4. The project must have received approval by the Commissioner and a Building Permit before advertising for bids. (Chapter 315 of the Laws of 1990)
  5. The project must have been properly authorized, generally by a vote of the people.

Assuming that all of the above criteria are properly met, then the determination of how much building aid will be paid on a particular capital construction project is based upon several factors: The State-rated capacity, the cost index in effect the month the contracts are signed, the district's aid ratio and the actual amounts expended. The publication, State Building Aid for Public School Districts and BOCES is available from the Office of Facilities Planning.

After a project has been submitted to the Office of Facilities Planning and subsequently approved, the district is sent several forms by the Office of State-Aided Programs. Among these forms is a Notification of Building Project, form SA-4. This form indicates whether or not all or part of the project is eligible for building aid.

It is important to know a few things about this SA-4 form. It is a blue form and is initially completed in triplicate by the Project Manager when the final plans and specifications are submitted for approval. At the time the project is approved, two copies of the SA-4 form are sent to the Office of State-Aided Programs and the original of the form is retained on file in the Office of Facilities Planning. The Project Manager obtained the financial data for the SA-4 form from the district, from the Application for Examination and Approval of Final Plans and Specifications (Form EFP-F), which is part of the submission of final documents required for approval of any capital construction project.

The Office of State-Aided Programs keeps one copy of the SA-4 form for their files and sends the other copy to the district along with any other forms that the office will require to compute and pay the district their appropriate building aid.

The district should be aware of the fact that there will generally be two times when the SA-4 may need to be revised--they are: at the time the contracts are signed (before the filing of the SA-139 form with the Office of State-Aided Programs) and at the time that the final expenditure report is sent to the Office of Facilities Planning. There are relatively new procedures for revising this form which require that the district complete a "Request for Revision of Financial Information (or FP-FI) Form." An article dealing with this form appeared in the April 1990 issue of the School Executive's Bulletin and was entitled, "Avoid Delays in Payment of Building Aid." Blank copies of the FP-FI form will be sent along with the SA-139 forms to the districts by the Office of State-Aided Programs. However, when the district needs to revise an SA-4, it should send the completed FP-FI Form directly to the appropriate Project Manager in the Office of Facilities Planning. The Office of State-Aided Programs will initiate, receive, and review all other forms needed to claim Building Aid--such as the SA-139, SA-23, and SA-25.

One last important fact to bear in mind is that the SA-4 cannot reflect an amount greater than that which was properly authorized for a particular capital construction project.