Q. What types of projects are eligible for funding under the Green Repair Program?
A. The Green Repair Program is limited to the repair or replacement of roofs, windows and/or boilers at school facilities that are otherwise structurally, functionally and educationally sound. If a school facility requires more extensive repair or replacement work – e.g. upgrades to electrical, plumbing, life safety or other building systems, extensive renovations to interior spaces, additional space based on capacity issues - it will not be eligible for funding under the Green Repair Program.
Q. Does the MSBA pay 100% of the costs of these repairs?
A. No. As with all approved projects, costs are shared between local school districts and the MSBA based on a reimbursement rate calculation formula established in the MSBA’s enabling act and regulations. The MSBA will pay only for the MSBA’s share of approved, eligible project costs (i.e. MSBA reimbursement rates range from 31% - 80% of approved, eligible project costs). Local Districts will be required to pay their share of project costs.
Q. How much funding is available?
A. The MSBA has up to approximately $300 million in funds available for the Green Repair Program.
Q. Did the MSBA get free money from the Federal Government for this program?
A. No. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) did not include any grant funding for school construction or renovation projects. The ARRA act did, however, include a new type of bond called a Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB). The MSBA has the ability to issue up to approximately $300 million of these bonds and use the proceeds for grants to local districts. The money is not free: the MSBA is required to pay it back. The benefit of the QSCBs is that it allows the MSBA the ability to borrow funds at a reduced interest cost. The savings allow the MSBA to approve more projects for local districts.
Q. What are the benefits of the Green Repair Program?
A. Leaky roofs, drafty windows and boiler failures make the learning environment difficult on students, teachers and administrators. The biggest benefit of the Green Repair Program is the improvement to the learning environment. Another benefit is the opportunity for faster and more focused action – i.e., special funding that will only be available for new roofs, boilers, and windows. A lasting benefit is the district’s ability to save money on energy costs for years to come, which should help in relieving pressure on operating budgets and also allow the district to use a portion of the energy savings to improve the district’s maintenance program.
Q. What makes the Green Repair Program different?
A. The Green Repair Program is different because it is focused on three types of major repairs – roofs, boilers, windows – and three related goals – improving the learning environment, energy conservation and maintenance.
Q. What does the MSBA mean by energy conservation?
A. Roofs, windows and boilers are three common needs that can make a big difference to a school’s energy use. The repairs requested should result in a building that is measurably more efficient in its energy use, that meets certain performance standards for fuel efficiency, and that thereby uses less fuel and saves money. Supporting energy conservation initiatives could include choices such as those described in the MSBA’s Green Schools program.
Q. Do MSBA’s regular rules regarding maintenance, indoor air quality, etc. apply to the Green Repair Program?
A. Yes. The Green Repair Program is intended to support such standards and to prompt Districts to go beyond them.