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(a) Each year, department staff shall
(1) review the revised six-year capital improvement plans submitted by each school district under 4 AAC 31.011; and
(2) recommend to the state Board of Education
(A) a revised six-year capital improvement plan; and
(B) a current-year capital improvement grant schedule, including individual grant amounts; if approved by the state Board of Education, the grant schedule takes effect with the start of the following fiscal year subject to legislative appropriation.
(b) When reviewing the six-year capital improvement plans and the grant applications submitted by school districts, department staff shall separately rank projects in the following classifications in the first year of the plan, in descending order of priority, as serves the state's best interests, where:
(1) school construction projects are those projects the primary purpose of which is to accomplish work under the categories established in AS 14.11.013 (a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), and (a)(1)(E) - (a)(1)(G); and
(2) major maintenance projects are those projects the primary purpose of which is to accomplish work under the categories established in AS 14.11.013 (a)(1)(C) and (D), except that a major maintenance project may not include additional square footage intended to accommodate unhoused students.
(c) When the department staff ranks projects under (b) of this section, the staff shall balance, as applicable to each project, the following considerations:
(1) the priority assigned to a project by a school district in relation to other projects of that district for which grant applications are submitted;
(2) the percentage by which the number of unhoused students exceeds the design capacity of existing facilities in the the attendance area;
(3) the relationship of the cost of the project to the annual savings in operational costs and the present worth as an annuity of the projected costs savings over the remaining economic life of the building;
(4) whether the project
(A) is necessary to provide for elementary and secondary instructional program requirements, mandated by state law or regulation, that are not met by existing facilities;
(B) provides for elementary and secondary instructional programs that, although available, are inadequately served by existing facilities; or
(C) will provide for new elementary and secondary instructional programs that, although not presently provided by the school district, will allow new or enhanced opportunities in the local instructional program;
(5) existing regional, community, and school facilities and their condition;
(6) alternative educational program options for accomplishing the project's objectives;
(7) whether the project has been phased for funding under (f) of this section or under 4 AAC 31.023(b) ;
(8) whether the project has a mixed scope that combines features of projects described in (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section; if the project has a mixed scope, the department staff shall
(A) separately consider each category in the mixed scope project when evaluating the whole project as proposed by the district;
(B) assign weight to evaluation criteria to consider each distinct mixed-scope element, and apply the evaluation criteria to selected portions of the mixed scope element, where appropriate; and
(C) apportion points appropriate to the consideration of each mixed scope element to the total project scope; and
(9) the inclusion of new square footage to support unhoused students; the department staff shall place projects that add square footage for unhoused students on the school construction list.
(d) The department will, in its discretion, reject a project
(2) whose objectives can adequately be served by existing facilities;
(3) whose objectives can be met by an alternative project that is in the state's best interest; or
(4) that is not in the state's best interests.
(e) The department will, in its discretion, approve a grant amount as proposed by the school district, reduce the proposed project's budget in the six-year grant schedule prepared under this section, or grant a waiver of all or a part of the required local contribution if requested under 4 AAC 31.021(a) . A proposed project's budget will be reduced
(1) if the costs, as determined by the department, are excessive;
(2) if the space proposed exceeds the maximum allowed under 4 AAC 31.020, including any approved variances and any adjustments to student population projections that the department considers necessary to best reflect historic populations and reasonable future growth;
(3) for a school construction grant application submitted to the department before January 1, 1996, if the nonassignable space in the proposed facility exceeds 25 percent of the total area of the facility, except that the department will, in its discretion, allow a variance of 35 percent for small schools in remote areas if it can be demonstrated that the variance is in the best interests of the state and the school district;
(4) if base square feet allowable will not be used for education purposes for at least 75 percent of the scheduled school day, except that for a school with a small enrollment in a remote location, the department shall grant a variance for specialized classroom space that will be used during at least two years out of any four years;
(5) if the project costs include the cost of repairing or replacing items not essential to the operation of the physical plant or items that are normally scheduled for preventive maintenance, routine repair, or replacement;
(6) if the project costs include items of deferred maintenance work that are normally scheduled as a matter of preventive maintenance or routine maintenance and repair in the operation of the facility; or
(7) if items of cost are included that are not eligible for consideration under the provisions of AS 14.11.013 (d) as allowable costs for school construction.
(f) For the purpose of funding, when the department prepares its grant schedule it will, in its discretion, divide a project into phases if the project's planned completion permits phasing, if phasing is in the state's best interest, and if phasing will not prejudice the school district in providing its instructional program.
History: Eff. 8/31/90, Register 115; am 8/12/93, Register 127; am 10/7/95, Register 136; am 4/17/98, Register 146; am 7/13/2000, Register 155; am 12/19/2002, Register 164
Authority: AS 14.07.060
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Last modified 7/05/2006