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06/17/2024 12:24 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20130&cosponId=11704
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 13, 2013 02:52 PM
From: Senator Michael L. Waugh
To: All Senate members
Subject: Requiring School Districts to Use Prototype School Designs
 
I am reintroducing legislation I am reintroducing legislation that that requires school districts to use standardized, pre-approved designs when constructing a new school building. This was Senate Bill 798 from the 2011-12 session.

This bill, which amends Act 14 of 1949 (the Public School Code), requires school districts to use these plans in order to receive the state reimbursement for construction. A district may build with a custom design, but it will not receive the state reimbursement.

Under certain conditions, the state Department of Education may exempt school districts from participating in the program for a particular project, and still provide state subsidies. In such a case, the school district must prove that a standardized design is not feasible for that particular project due to specific geographic or other limitations of that area; or that the project involves unique remodeling, rehabilitating or expansion of an existing structure.

When the department exempts a school district from using a standardized design for these reasons, it shall provide written notice, sent to the school district, of the exemption. Such notice shall also be made available to the public by the school entity.

This bill directs the state Department of Education to divide Pennsylvania into six regions – northwest, northeast, southeast, southwest, north central and south central. The department shall designate which counties are in which region, grouping counties together based on geographic proximity.

The department will then group the designs accepted for the portfolio within the six regions, based on energy needs for heating and cooling, building size, average school district population in the region, layout of the building (one story versus multiple stories) and structural requirements due to climatic or geographic difficulties.

Senators Alloway, Argall, Brubaker, Rafferty, Smucker, Ward and Wozniak were co-sponsors of Senate Bill 798.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Greg Beckenbaugh in my office at 787-3817 or gbeckenbaugh@pasen.gov .



Introduced as SB640