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Minnesota Legislature

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123B.71 Review and comment for school district construction.

Subdivision 1. Consultation. A school district shall consult with the commissioner of children, families, and learning before developing any plans and specifications to construct, remodel, or improve the building or site of an educational facility for which the estimated cost exceeds $100,000. This consultation shall occur before a referendum for bonds, solicitation for bids, or use of capital expenditure facilities revenue according to section 126C.10, subdivision 14, clause (2). The commissioner may require the district to participate in a management assistance plan before conducting a review and comment on the project.

Subd. 2. Project. The construction, remodeling, or improvement of a building or site of an educational facility at an estimated cost exceeding $100,000 is a project under section 177.42, subdivision 2.

Subd. 3. Indoor air quality resources; commissioner's role. As part of the consultation under subdivision 1, the commissioner shall provide each school district with information concerning indoor air quality.

Subd. 4. Plan submittal. For a project for which consultation is required under subdivision 1, the commissioner, after the consultation required in subdivision 1, may require a school district to submit the following for approval:

(a) two sets of preliminary plans for each new building or addition, and

(b) one set of final plans for each construction, remodeling, or site improvement project. The commissioner shall approve or disapprove the plans within 90 days after submission.

Final plans shall meet all applicable state laws, rules, and codes concerning public buildings, including sections 16B.59 to 16B.73. The department may furnish to a school district plans and specifications for temporary school buildings containing two classrooms or less.

Subd. 5. Final plans. If a construction contract has not been awarded within two years of approval, the approval shall not be valid. After approval, final plans and the approval shall be filed with the commissioner of children, families, and learning. If substantial changes are made to approved plans, documents reflecting the changes shall be submitted to the commissioner for approval. Upon completing a project, the school board shall certify to the commissioner that the project was completed according to the approved plans.

Subd. 6. Condemnation of school buildings. The commissioner may condemn school buildings and sites determined to be unfit or unsafe for that use.

Subd. 7. Rulemaking. The commissioner of children, families, and learning may adopt rules for public school buildings.

Subd. 8. Review and comment. A school district, a special education cooperative, or a cooperative unit of government, as defined in section 123A.24, subdivision 2, must not initiate an installment contract for purchase or a lease agreement, hold a referendum for bonds, nor solicit bids for new construction, expansion, or remodeling of an educational facility that requires an expenditure in excess of $400,000 per school site prior to review and comment by the commissioner. The commissioner may exempt a facility maintenance project funded with general education aid and levy or health and safety revenue from this provision after reviewing a written request from a school district describing the scope of work. A school board shall not separate portions of a single project into components to avoid the requirements of this subdivision.

Subd. 9. Information required. A school board proposing to construct a facility described in subdivision 8 shall submit to the commissioner a proposal containing information including at least the following:

(a) the geographic area proposed to be served, whether within or outside the boundaries of the school district;

(b) the people proposed to be served, including census findings and projections for the next ten years of the number of preschool and school-aged people in the area;

(c) the reasonably anticipated need for the facility or service to be provided;

(d) a description of the construction in reasonable detail, including: the expenditures contemplated; the estimated annual operating cost, including the anticipated salary and number of new staff necessitated by the proposal; and an evaluation of the energy efficiency and effectiveness of the construction, including estimated annual energy costs; and a description of the telephone capabilities of the facility and its classrooms;

(e) a description of existing facilities within the area to be served and within school districts adjacent to the area to be served; the extent to which existing facilities or services are used; the extent to which alternate space is available, including other school districts, post-secondary institutions, other public or private buildings, or other noneducation community resources; and the anticipated effect that the facility will have on existing facilities and services;

(f) the anticipated benefit of the facility to the area;

(g) if known, the relationship of the proposed construction to any priorities that have been established for the area to be served;

(h) the availability and manner of financing the facility and the estimated date to begin and complete the facility;

(i) desegregation requirements that cannot be met by any other reasonable means;

(j) the relationship of the proposed facility to the cooperative integrated learning needs of the area;

(k) the effects of the proposed facility on the district's operating budget;

(l) the level of collaboration at the facility between the district and other governmental or nonprofit entities; and

(m) the extent to which the district has minimized administrative overhead among facilities.

Subd. 10. Indoor air quality. (a) A school board seeking a review and comment under this section must submit information demonstrating to the commissioner's satisfaction that:

(1) indoor air quality issues have been considered; and

(2) the architects and engineers designing the facility will have professional liability insurance.

(b) Plans submitted under subdivisions 3 and 4 for projects to be placed in service after July 1, 2002, must demonstrate that:

(1) the facility's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems meet or exceed the standards established by code; and

(2) the facility's design will provide the ability for monitoring of outdoor airflow and total airflow of ventilation systems in new school facilities.

Subd. 11. Review of proposals. In reviewing each proposal, the commissioner shall submit to the school board, within 60 days of receiving the proposal, the review and comment about the educational and economic advisability of the project. The review and comment shall be based on information submitted with the proposal and other information the commissioner determines is necessary. If the commissioner submits a negative review and comment for a portion of a proposal, the review and comment shall clearly specify which portion of the proposal received a negative review and comment and which portion of the proposal received a positive review and comment.

Subd. 12. Publication. At least 20 days but not more than 60 days before a referendum for bonds or solicitation of bids for a project that has received a positive or unfavorable review and comment under section 123B.70, the school board shall publish the commissioner's review and comment of that project in the legal newspaper of the district. Supplementary information shall be available to the public.

HIST: Ex1959 c 71 art 2 s 15; 1969 c 532 s 1; 1977 c 305 s 45; 1983 c 314 art 7 s 6; 1984 c 463 art 7 s 1; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 16; 1987 c 258 s 12; 1988 c 718 art 8 s 2; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1989 c 329 art 5 s 2; 1990 c 562 art 5 s 2-4; 1991 c 265 art 5 s 2,3; 1993 c 224 art 13 s 4; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 1 s 2; art 16 s 13; 1996 c 412 art 13 s 5; 1997 c 7 art 1 s 47; 1997 c 231 art 16 s 4; 1Sp1997 c 4 art 4 s 4-7; 1998 c 397 art 4 s 51; art 11 s 3; 1998 c 398 art 4 s 1; art 5 s 55; 2000 c 489 art 5 s 6