To further maximize resources, the MSBA has formalized and streamlined the beginning of its grant process with the establishment of an Eligibility Period, which has and will continue to result in several benefits to the District and the MSBA. The Eligibility Period assists the MSBA with managing its financial resources by identifying early in the process whether a District is ready to manage and fund a capital project. It will help to determine a District’s financial and community readiness to enter the capital pipeline. It will also assist Districts locally by providing a definitive schedule and identifying needs for planning and budgeting.
A vote of the MSBA Board of Directors to invite a District into the Eligibility Period is based on a review of the District’s Statement of Interest ("SOI") and staff due diligence and recommendation. The vote initiates a 270-day period for the District to complete certain preliminary requirements that include: 1) a certification of the District’s understanding of the grant program rules by executing an Initial Compliance Certification; 2) forming a School Building Committee and submitting the membership to the MSBA for acceptance; 3) completing an Educational Profile Questionnaire to further inform the MSBA’s understanding of the District’s current and proposed educational facilities, teaching methodology, grade configurations and program offerings; 4) a summary of the District’s existing maintenance practices; 5) certification of a design enrollment for the proposed project agreed upon with the MSBA (may not be applicable for Repair Assessments depending on the proposed scope of work); 6) confirmation of community authorization and funding to proceed (see MSBA Vote Requirements); and, 7) execution of the MSBA’s standard Feasibility Study Agreement, which establishes a process for the District to be reimbursed for eligible expenses.
Districts that successfully complete the preliminary requirements to the satisfaction of the MSBA within the 270-day Eligibility Period are eligible to receive an invitation from the MSBA Board of Directors to the Feasibility Study phase. This phase involves the District utilizing MSBA-specific procurement processes and standard Request for Services ("RFS") templates and contracts to procure a team of professionals to work with the District as a proposed project advances through the MSBA grant process as defined in Module 2.
Districts that are able to successfully complete the preliminary requirements in less than 270 days may receive an invitation earlier than 270 days, as determined by the MSBA. An invitation to the Eligibility Period is not an invitation to Feasibility Study and it does not guarantee an invitation to the MSBA’s capital pipeline. Districts that do not successfully complete the preliminary requirements within the 270-day period will have to re-file an SOI during the next open SOI filing period.
The MSBA’s program for school building construction and renovation grants is a non-entitlement competitive grant program. Grants are distributed by the MSBA’s Board of Directors based on need and urgency, as expressed by the District and validated by the MSBA. Submitting an SOI is the critical first step in the MSBA’s program for school building construction and renovation grants.
2019 SOI Process
The 2019 SOI submittal period opened on January 4, 2019. The deadline to file SOIs for consideration into the ARP, which is primarily for the replacement of roofs, windows/doors, and/or boilers in an otherwise structurally sound facility, was Friday, February 15, 2019. The MSBA reviewed the 83 SOIs submitted for the ARP and presented initial recommendations for invitation at the June 5th Facilities Assessment Subcommittee meeting. At the June 26, 2019 Board meeting, the Board of Directors approved the invitations for 27 districts representing 42 schools into the ARP. The deadline to file SOIs for consideration into the Core Program, which is primarily for projects beyond the scope of ARP, including extensive repairs, renovations, additions/renovations, and new school construction, was Friday, April 12, 2019. The MSBA is currently reviewing the 61 SOIs that were submitted for the Core Program and the Further Review Recommendations that were presented at the May 31, 2019 Board meeting. Staff anticipates presenting recommendations for invitation into Eligibility Period at either the December 11, 2019 or February 13, 2020 Board Meeting.
At the October 30, 2019 Board Meeting:
- Four Districts were invited to Feasibility Study
- Hull, Peabody, Stoneham, Walpole