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Subject 160-5-4 SCHOOL FACILITIES AND CAPITAL OUTLAY MANAGEMENT

Rule 160-5-4-.01 Educational Facilities Construction Plan (Local Facilities Plan)

(1) Definition.
(a) Educational Facilities Construction Plan (commonly known as a Local Facilities Plan or five-year Facilities Plan and referred to in this rule as Facilities Plan) - a study of a local school system's present educational facilities and a five-year forecast of facility needs.
(2) Requirements.
(a) Each local board of education shall develop and submit to the State Board of Education for approval once every five years a facilities plan that identifies the system's facility needs for the ensuing five years.
(b) The local board of education shall submit the facilities plan in the format used by the department at the time the plan is developed and the plan shall contain the following:
1. Inventory data for all existing and funded school facilities. Each school system shall be responsible for reviewing and updating the inventory data in the system's facilities plan to record any changes that have occurred since the inventory was last updated.
2. Student FTE historical data.
3. Student FTE projections for the ensuing five-year period.
4. Present and projected system organizational patterns.
5. Minimum and maximum limits on the FTE student size for all elementary, middle, and high schools.
6. Instructional service and support programs for each school in the system.
7. Facility needs, including estimated cost, for:
(i) Renovations.
(ii) Modifications.
(iii) Additions.
(iv) New schools.
8. School facilities to be closed, phased out, and/or abandoned.
9. A systemwide list of construction projects, in priority order, by school and construction activity needed to effectuate the housing of students in accordance with the organizational pattern and adopted instructional program contained in the facilities plan. In specifying the order of importance of all proposed construction projects, each local school system shall give priority to elementary school construction projects.
10. Proposed financing for effectuating the plan including state, local, federal, and other fund sources.
(c) Local boards of education desiring to develop a new facility plan shall adopt and transmit in writing to the department a resolution requesting technical assistance in the development of the plan.
(d) An educational facilities survey team of the appropriate size shall be selected by the department for the validation of the newly developed facilities plan in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-260(c)(2).
1. The survey team will report their findings to the local board of education and to the State Board of Education.
2. A local board of education may appeal the survey team's findings to the State Board of Education.
3. Local school systems shall reimburse team members, other than employees of the department, for travel, lodging and meals in accordance with state travel regulations.
4. Local units of administration shall use the following criteria when nominating team members for the state facilities survey team list.
(i) Each local board of education shall nominate, in addition to the superintendent, one member for each 3,300 FTE or major fraction thereof. Each local board of education shall nominate at least two members.
(ii) Each RESA board of control shall nominate five individuals at large from the RESA area.
(iii) Local units of administration shall make nominations on a form furnished by the department.
(e) Local boards of education shall abide by the priorities of projects and construction activities contained in the approved facilities plan with the following exception.
1. The State Board of Education has approved a reordering of project priorities based upon a written documentation from the local board of education.
2. The school system has met all of the conditions and requirements stated in the law, including O.C.G.A. § 20-2-260(c)(9), and rules to amend its facilities plan when the plan to be amended included projects eligible for incentive advance funding.

Rule 160-5-4-.02 Capital Outlay Entitlement, Funding Requests, And Required Local Participation

(1) DEFINITION.
(a) Regular entitlement - a school system's annual share of the state's capital outlay entitlement authorized by the Georgia General Assembly for regular capital outlay purposes. This is computed by multiplying the annual authorization level by the ratio of the local need to the total state need as determined by the Local Facilities Plans (LFP).
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) A local board of education's entitlement shall accrue from year to year. Effective July 1, 2012, all accrued entitlements can be used toward any eligible new construction, addition, renovation, and/or modification project.
(b) Each year during the annual capital outlay application period, a local school system can submit a request for state funding (entitlements) for a project(s) identified in its LFP.
(c) A local board of education shall have the required local participation funds available at the time the system submits its capital outlay application.
(d) Accrued entitlement will be adjusted annually for any new projects funded or credited for any balances remaining from completed projects.
(e) For the capital outlay program regular and regular advance categories), local school systems shall have the facility needs of each school determined by the department annually. Facility needs are determined by the total improvement needs recommended by the most recent state board approved LFP, adjusted downward for projects financed or completed since the completion of the previous survey and adjusted by the most recent FTE data.

Rule 160-5-4-.03 Applications for State Capital Outlay Funding

(1) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Before an application may be submitted for a project, a Local Educational Agency (LEA) shall have a Local Facilities Plan (LFP) approved by the state board, and the project must be included in the approved LFP.
(b) A local board of education shall submit capital outlay applications that contain:
1. The proposed facilities improvements coordinated with the instructional program as outlined in the LFP.
2. Cost estimates adjusted to current construction costs as necessary.
3. The instructional and support space needs for each facility priority.
4. The estimated construction start date.

Note: A construction contract cannot be issued before the funding application has been approved by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and signed by the local education agency's (LEA) superintendent and board chairperson.

(c) The LEA, with verification of the GaDOE, shall make adjustments if there has been an increase or decrease in the total projected FTE since the local facilities plan was approved, prior to submitting an application.
(d) LEAs requesting state funds for capital outlay projects as provided in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-260 or § 20-2-262 shall submit the application on forms furnished by the GaDOE no later than August 15 of the year preceding the fiscal year for which the funds are requested with the following attachments.
1. The LEA's Certificate of Title (or a copy of the warranty deed) for each school site.
2. Letter of Assurance from the Flood Plain Management Coordinator of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources that the site is not in the 100-year flood plain or coastal high hazard area.
3. Copy of the 25-year across-system contract, if applicable.
(e) When the total space needs in a proposed project application exceed the space required for a given population as reflected in the local facilities plan, the application shall be approved only if additional local funds are provided to cover the cost of the project for the space in excess of that required by state formula.
(f) More than one priority project may be included in a LEA's regular capital outlay application if the entitlement plus the required local amount, is sufficient to cover the cost of the multiple projects. LEAs shall give priority to elementary school construction projects.
(g) When making application, a LEA shall have the required local amount in its current approved budget as a line item or in the capital outlay account. Combinations of fund sources may be used to equal the required local amount.
(h) Portable units shall not be accepted as a state funded project in any capital outlay application under this program.

Rule 160-5-4-.04 Special Appropriation for Public School Capital Outlay

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Capital Outlay - expenditures which result in the acquisition of fixed assets, improvements to sites, construction of buildings, construction of additions to buildings, retrofitting of existing buildings for energy conservation, renovation and modification of existing buildings, initial and additional equipment, and furnishings for K-12 educational facilities. For the purposes of the special appropriation, expenditures for the acquisition of property, swimming pools, tracks, stadiums, and other facilities or portions of facilities used primarily for athletic competition, non-permanent instructional units, and the central and area administrative offices of local units of administration shall be excluded.
(b) Facilities Inventory -represents all existing instructional units meeting minimum state requirements used in the delivery of the K-12 instructional program planned by the school system plus any instructional unit(s) planned (or currently under construction) for which local, state, or federal funding is available.
(c) Instructional Units Earned - refers to the number of instructional units(IUs) that should be available to provide adequate school facilities to deliver the approved K-12 instructional programs planned at a school based on the grade configuration and the student population at the school. The number of IUs earned at each school shall be derived from the applicable IU allocation chart provided by the Department.
(d) Instructional Units Needed -The number of instructional units needed at each school is determined by subtracting the number of units earned from the number of instructional units currently available and/or the number of instructional units for which funding is currently available.
(e) Special Appropriation for Public School Capital Outlay - Special appropriation for public school capital outlay refers to any appropriation of state funds authorized for public school capital outlay activities in addition to the appropriations approved for capital outlay projects under the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-260 and O.C.G.A. § 20-2-262.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Local boards of education, with assistance from the Facilities Services staff, shall develop an application (or applications) in the format specified by the Department to request funding for the instructional units determined to be needed and eligible for funding from this special appropriation.
(b) All instructional units included in an application and constructed with funds from this special appropriation shall meet the common minimum facility requirements defined in the State Board of Education rules and in the guidelines named in Rule 160-5-4-.16 Educational Facility Site, Construction, and Reimbursement.
(c) Funds from this special appropriation may be combined with funds from other state or local fund sources in a single application. However, any application utilizing multiple fund sources shall be developed to comply with all the laws, rules, and guidelines applicable to each of the fund sources.
(d) While no local matching funds shall be required for the funds derived from this special appropriation, the local board of education shall agree to provide any additional local funds which may be needed to ensure that the project can be completed as described in the approved application.
(e) Local boards of education shall adopt the completed application(s) and return the approved application with original signatures to:

Georgia Department of Education

Facilities Services Unit

1670 Twin Towers, East

Atlanta, Georgia 30334

(f) Funds from this special appropriation shall be used to reimburse local boards of education for eligible expenditures incurred to complete the activities described in the approved application. Projects must be completed in accordance with any applicable laws, rules, and guidelines for capital outlay projects to qualify for reimbursement. Except as provided otherwise in these special rules and guidelines, the general rules and guidelines for capital outlay will apply to this program.

Rule 160-5-4-.05 Regular Advance and Low-Wealth Funding

(1) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) A local school system shall meet the following conditions to qualify for regular advance funding.
1. The school system shall have a current approved facilities plan in which the advance funded project is identified as the next priority.
2. The requested project will require a minimum of five years of regular capital outlay program entitlement earnings after regular accumulated entitlement has been deducted to construct the project.
3. The system shall have no remaining entitlement due on previous advance funded or low-wealth projects.
4. The project applied for shall not be in addition to other projects funded in a given year under the regular capital outlay program.
5. Regular advance funding applications shall be for only one project as required by law.
6. School systems seeking regular advance funding for across-system-line schools shall be required to utilize up to five year's combined entitlements.
7. Systems applying for regular advance funding for an across-system-line school shall have executed a 25 year contract as specified by law.
(b) Systems applying for advance funding under the provisions of law relating to schools certified as hazards to health and safety shall provide the following appropriate certification with the application.
1. Certification from the appropriate Department of Human Resources District/ Unit Health Director that such hazards exist.
2. Certification by the State Fire Marshal's Office specifying the life safety code violation.
(c) To qualify for low-wealth funding under the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-262, a school system shall meet the following conditions:
1. Sales tax revenues per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) for the school system shall be in the bottom 25 percent of the statewide sales tax revenues per FTE, and the Value of property per FTE for the school system shall be in the bottom 25 percent of the statewide property wealth per FTE.

Or

A system ranked in the bottom 25 percent of special purpose local option sales tax revenues (SPLOST) may apply for a low-wealth specific project, and

2. The school system's millage rate for maintenance and operation shall be at least 12 mills, and
3. A special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) is in effect in the local school district or the local school system has in place a millage rate for debt service on bonds, or both, and
4. The school system cannot have a current advance funding or low-wealth project, and
5. The school system must use prototypical specifications approved by the Georgia Department of Education in the design and construction of the facility.
(d) The Required Local Participation (RLP) for low-wealth projects is 8 percent.
(e) A reduction of 1 percent in the RLP will be applied for every one mill or equivalent mill levied by the system for each mill or equivalent mill levied by the school system at the time of the application.
(f) If the local funds needed for a project will be in excess of five years of projected SPLOST revenues (verified by the GaDOE), additional state funds will be applied to the project. The local funds needed will be equivalent to five years of projected SPLOST revenues.

Rule 160-5-4-.06 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.07 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.08 School Size

(1) Requirements.
(a) School systems shall be eligible to receive full funding under the capital outlay program when they have met the requirements of law regarding the minimum school size and system organizational pattern.
(b) Capital outlay program participation by local school systems shall be limited to administrative units with not less than 200 FTE in any single grade or combination of grades K-8 for elementary schools or not less than 400 FTE in any single grade or combination of grades 4-8 for middle schools or not less than 500 FTE in any single grade or combination of grades 9-12 for high schools.
(c) Local school systems with schools below the minimum size shall be eligible for capital outlay participation when they meet or exceed the allowable variations of size as described in this rule under one of the following conditions:
1. When the FTE is 100 percent of the system's population.
2. When sizes are approved as a result of a consolidation feasibility study.
(d) If a system chooses to continue the operation of schools below the minimum size, the school or schools in question shall be excluded from all calculations involving the allotment of state capital outlay funds. The school system shall include as a part of the local facility plan a statement that the system assumes the responsibility for providing an instructional program and physical facilities essentially comparable to those offered at the other schools of the same grade level in the system. The school shall be listed in the system's order of priorities with all construction needs identified.
(e) Under the Capital Outlay Program, entitlement earnings and funding levels are based on the minimum square footage requirements established for the grade configuration specified in the system's Local Facilities Plan and any subsequent application for state funding approved by the local board of education and the State Board of Education. If a school system decides to reorganize to a different grade configuration with a lower square footage requirement after entitlement has been earned or state funds have been appropriated to construct the school, entitlement earnings or state funds shall be adjusted to reflect the lower square footage requirements.

Rule 160-5-4-.09 Limited Public School Choice

(1) Definition.
(a) Excessive travel time and distance -
1. The actual transportation time one way (on a school bus) to the school where the student has been assigned takes forty-five minutes longer than the transportation time (on a school bus) to the closer school where the student wants to be reassigned; or
2. The actual transportation distance one way (via the school bus route) to the school where the student has been assigned is at least 15 miles farther than the distance to the closer school where the student wants to be reassigned.
(b) Notification of a student's assignment - annual establishment of school attendance zones by the local board of education.
(2) Requirements.
(a) With the approval of the local board of education, a student may be reassigned to another school within the district where the student resides if all of the following conditions under subsection (a) are met:
1. The school to which the student has been assigned does not have available permanent classroom space, and the student is assigned to nonpermanent classroom facilities for instruction.
2. Another school within the district where the student resides has permanent classroom space available.
3. The parent or guardian of the student has submitted a written request to the local board of education asking for the student to be reassigned to a school where permanent classroom space is available.
4. The parent or guardian assumes responsibility for providing transportation for the student if a request for reassignment is granted by the local board of education.
(b) With the approval of both the sending and the receiving local boards of education, a student may be reassigned to a school in another school district if all of the following conditions under subsection (b) are met:
1. A school in another school district is closer to the student's place of residence than the school to which the student has been assigned.
2. The actual transportation time or distance on a bus one way to the school where the student has been assigned is determined to be excessive in terms of travel time or distance as defined in (1)(a)1. or (1)(a)2.
3. The school to which the student is requesting reassignment is offering an instructional program comparable to that offered in the school where the student was originally assigned.
4. The school in the other school system to which the student is requesting reassignment has available permanent classroom space.
5. The parent or guardian assumes responsibility for providing transportation for the student.
6. For the 2000-2001 school year, the parent or guardian of a student requesting reassignment shall submit written requests to the local board of education where the student wishes to be reassigned and to the local board of education where the student resides within seven days after the beginning of school or seven days after the effective date of this rule whichever is later. Beginning with the 2001-2002 school year, each local board of education is required to establish and annually publish the school attendance zones for the school system. The parent or guardian of a student eligible to request reassignment shall submit written requests each year to the local board of education for the school where the student wishes to be reassigned and to the local board of education where the student resides by no later than seven days following the publication of attendance zones. The responsible local boards of education shall respond to the requesting parent or guardian within 30 days of receipt of the request for reassignment.
(c) If both local boards of education agree to the reassignment, the state and federal funds earned by those students allotted to the sending school system shall be reallotted to the receiving school system.
(d) The receiving school system may elect to receive any part or all of the local five mill share directly from the sending school system correlated to the number of transferred students.
(e) The school system providing services may apply to the state for reimbursement in an amount equal to the difference between the dollar amount per full-time equivalent student represented by the state program funds received and the total dollar amount per fulltime equivalent student expended by the system for a similarly enrolled student (excluding transportation costs).
(f) If the parties are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement regarding a request to reassign a student to another school, the parent or guardian may request an appeal of the decision(s) made by the local board(s) of education. Such appeal shall comply with the procedures in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-1160 and State Board of Education Rule 160-1-3-.04 School Law Tribunals and Appeals.
(g) Nothing in this rule shall be construed to interfere with desegregation plans in effect or any subsequent implementation thereof.
(h) Nothing in this rule shall be construed to alter contractual relationships between two or more school systems.

Rule 160-5-4-.10 Approval of Plans and Specifications

(1) Requirements.
(a) Local school systems constructing new schools or additions to existing schools or modifying existing schools that are to be used for instruction or for housing students in connection with student activities shall meet minimum requirements and standards as provided in Rule 160-5-4-.16 Design and Construction Standards and Construction Costs.
(b) Local school systems shall obtain the services of architects and engineers who hold current Georgia registration to design all school facility construction and/or modification.
1. The local school system shall obtain approval for all plans and specifications from the department, State Fire Marshal, and Georgia Department of Human Resources or any other state or federal agency as may be applicable.
(c) Facilities constructed prior to July 1, 1981, but after 1952, that do not meet the requirements and standards in Rule 160-5-4-.16 Design and Construction Standards and Construction Costs are exempt from the rule, provided the plans and specifications have been previously approved by the department and the appropriate occupancy permits have been issued by the state fire marshal.
1. Local school systems having buildings or classrooms constructed after July 1, 1981, without approved plans and specifications in accordance with this rule, shall be in violation of state law, and the local school system shall be responsible for bringing these facilities into compliance with the rules, regulations, standards, and safety codes that were in effect at the time of construction.

Rule 160-5-4-.11 Design Contracts and Fees

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Design Professional - an architect; civil structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, plumbing engineer, or heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) engineer; interior designer; landscape architect; or other professional whose services require licensing and registration by the state.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Local boards of education contracting with a registered design professional for the design and supervision of a state-funded capital outlay construction project shall select and execute the architectural contract of their choice and incorporate the "Mandatory Addendum to the Owner/Design Professional Agreement" as an attachment to the contract selected. The "Mandatory Addendum to the Owner/Design Professional Agreement" will be provided by the department. No alterations to the terms and conditions of the "Mandatory Addendum to the Owner/Design Professional Agreement" will be permitted without prior written consent from the department.
(b) Local boards of education shall specify a percentage fee in the contract(s) executed for architectural services on state capital outlay construction projects. State participation in architectural fees cannot exceed a total of six percent of the eligible stated cost limitation. The maximum amount eligible for state participation for architectural design fees (sometimes referred to as the basic rate) shall not exceed four percent of the stated cost limitation for the project. The maximum amount eligible for state participation for architectural oversight during the construction phase of the project shall not exceed two percent of the stated cost limitation for the project.
(c) Local boards of education shall file with the department a copy of the executed architectural contract with the "Mandatory Addendum to the Owner/Design Professional Agreement" attached to be eligible for reimbursement of state funds for the project.
(d) Local school systems shall not charge to state capital outlay funds any payment to the design professional greater than the amount stated in paragraph (b) above.
(e) Payments to reimburse local school systems for architectural fees incurred shall be made as follows:
1. When preliminary plans have been approved by the department, the system shall be eligible to receive reimbursement up to a sum equal to, but not greater than, 25 percent of the eligible design fee computed on the stated cost limitation for the project.
2. When final plans and specifications have been approved by the owner and the department, the system shall be eligible to receive reimbursement up to a sum sufficient to increase the amount reimbursed for architectural design fees up to 75 percent of the eligible design fee computed on the stated cost limitation for the project.
3. When bids have been received and the required supporting documentation has been received by the department, the system shall be eligible to receive reimbursement up to a sum sufficient to increase the payments for architectural design fees to 100 percent of the cost stated in the lowest acceptable bid, but in no event for an amount in excess of four percent of the stated cost limitation.
4. Reimbursement to the school system for architectural fees incurred for oversight during the construction phase of the project shall be made in equal proportion to the amount of work certified for payment by the design professional on the periodical estimate of the contractor. Reimbursement for architectural fees for oversight of the construction phase will be based on the maximum amount designated in the architectural contract, or the maximum amount eligible for state participation, whichever is less. Reimbursement for architectural oversight shall be made on a periodic basis as the construction activities progress until such time as the sum of the reimbursement paid equals 95 percent of the maximum, eligible amount allowed for project oversight. When the final closeout documents have been received by the department, the system shall be eligible to receive a sum sufficient to increase the amount of reimbursement for architectural fees up to 100 percent of the amount stated in the architectural contract or the maximum amount eligible for state participation for architectural fees, whichever is less.

Rule 160-5-4-.12 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.13 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.14 Sparsity Grant

(1) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) When a school system meets all the requirements stated in O.G.C.A. § 20-2-292 and its annual average FTE continues to remain below the following sizes, the calculation of the system's sparsity grant for each subsequent year will be based on the increase or decrease in the system's FTE after the original feasibility study was completed.
1. Elementary School - 450 FTE.
2. Middle School - 624 FTE.
3. High School - 485 FTE.

Rule 160-5-4-.15 Processing of Plans and Specifications for Public School Construction

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Planning and construction documents - all architectural and engineering draw ings, project manual, technical specifications, addenda, change orders, and other documents as requested that are employed in the design, bidding, and construction of a public school facility.
(b) Project manual - the bound document containing the Invitation for Bid or Proposal, Instruction to Bidders or Offerors, Proposal Form, General Conditions of the Contract, Supplementary Conditions, Special Conditions, Sample Forms, and other documents as required, as well as all technical specifications for the project.
(c) Design/bid/build - a construction delivery method that involves securing competitively bid lump sum construction. Contracts are based on complete and prescriptive contract documents prepared by design professionals, and made up of drawings, specifications, and supporting information. The design-bid-build/lump sum (or stipulated sum) delivery system uses competitive bidding among general contractors, with performance/payment bonds, and various other statutory requirements and State Board of Education rules being employed to protect the owner's investments. While bidders may be asked to prequalify, the procurement process must be a competitive sealed bid, with the price being the only factor, subject to the bidder showing it is both responsible and its bid is responsive to the solicitation.
(d) Design Professional - an architect; civil structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, plumbing engineer, or heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) engineer; interior designer; landscape architect; or other professional whose services require licensing and registration by the state.
(e) Construction Manager/General Contractor at Risk - a construction delivery method that allows the owner to (1) hire a construction manager at any time during the project pre-design phase. The construction manager and the design professional work together to develop and estimate costs for the design. A guaranteed maximum price is provided by the construction manager at risk who then receives proposals and awards contracts to subcontractors. Or (2) hire a general contractor after the completion of the design phase. The procurement process for the construction manager or general contractor must be a competitive qualifications selection. Following a procedure similar to that contained in O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20et seq. is acceptable.
(f) Design/Build - a construction delivery method wherein the builder and the design professional are one entity hired to deliver the project. A guaranteed maximum price is usually furnished in the beginning of the project based upon the design criteria prepared by the client. The procurement process must be a competitive qualifications selection. Following a procedure similar to that contained in O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20et seq. is acceptable.
(g) Construction Management Services - an individual, company, or firm that represent the governmental agency in an administrative and oversight capacity of a construction project.

Construction Management Services are intended to cover the services of a Construction Manager Agent not at risk, Construction Manager, and Program Manager. The procurement process must be a competitive qualifications selection. Following a procedure similar to that contained in O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20et seq. is acceptable.

(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) The requirements of this rule shall apply to all public school construction projects regardless of project funding source unless exempt by O.C.G.A. § 36-91-22.
(b) The local board of education shall submit to the department for approval all planning and construction documents for the design and/or modification of any facility or structure that will house public school children or that will be utilized to provide services for public school children. Approval will be in accordance with the current department publications as listed in Rule 160-5-4-.16. Copies of the publications named in Rule 160-5-4-.16 may be obtained from the Department or printed directly from the Facilities Services website located at www.doe.k12.ga.us/facilities/rulesandguidebooks.html.
(c) Final drawings and the project manual for any public school construction project using the design/bid/build construction delivery method shall be submitted to the department in accordance with paragraph (2)(b) above and approved prior to advertisement for bids.
(d) Projects using any construction delivery method other than described above shall submit plans and specifications as follows:
1. Both the preliminary and the check set reviews must be submitted and approved by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) Facilities Services Unit prior to the start of any of the building's foundation work or the issuance of a construction permit from the local authorities having jurisdiction, whichever comes first. The check set approval is complete only after all comments have been addressed.
2. At a minimum of thirty days prior to the building's eighty percent inspection by the Fire Marshall, final plans shall be submitted for review and approval by the GaDOE Facilities Services Unit.
(e) If final plans are not approved in accordance with this rule, any state funds allocated to the project may be withheld. Plans and specifications for all projects without regard for the fund source or construction delivery method must be approved by the department in compliance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-260(c)(7), 20-2-260(d)(6), and 20-2-261.
(f) The local board of education shall be responsible for having all final drawings and the project manual approved by the state and local Fire Marshal, Department of Human Resources, and local government agencies and any required permits issued prior to the start of construction.
(g) The local board of education shall procure the services for the construction activities defined and set forth in (1) (e), (f), and (g) through a Qualification-Based Selection via Request for Proposal, or may use a similar statutory or industry- recognized model that does not restrict competition. Prior to issuing the Request For Proposal, the local board of education shall obtain a letter from legal counsel that the proposal has been reviewed and meets all of the criteria required in O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20 and 36-91-21. This process must have a documented method of evaluation for selecting firms and such information shall be made available to all participants of the process, As a minimum, the local board shall advertise for such services for a period of four weeks, using the criteria set forth in O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20.

Rule 160-5-4-.16 Educational Facility Site, Construction, and Reimbursement

(1) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Approval of all sites to be used for instructional purposes, design of all new educational facilities, additions, renovations, and modifications to all existing educational facilities, reimbursement of state funds for approved funded projects, and the process for closing an educational facility shall be in accordance with all applicable provisions and requirements of the latest editions of Guidelines available from the department.
1. Guideline for Compliance with the Standards and Criteria of the National Flood Insurance Program (Amended May 10, 2012)
2. Guideline for Educational Facility Construction (Amended November 6, 2014)
3. Guideline for Submission of Documents for Review of Planning, Bidding, and Construction of Educational Facilities (Amended May 10, 2012)
4. Guideline for Square Footage Requirements for Educational Facilities (Amended May 10, 2012)
5. Guideline for Risk Hazard Assessment of Educational Facility Sites (Amended May 10, 2012)
6. Guideline for Educational Facility Site Selection (Amended May 10, 2012)
7. Guideline for Construction Reimbursement Rates (Amended May 10, 2012)
8. Guideline for Receiving State Capital Outlay Funds (Amended May 10, 2012)
9. Guideline for Closing an Educational Facility (Amended May 10, 2012)
10. Guideline for Reimbursement of State Funded Projects (Amended May 10, 2012)
11. Guideline for Low Wealth Applications (Amended August 22, 2019)

Rule 160-5-4-.17 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.18 Bidding Requirements for School Capital Outlay Projects

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Design/bid/build - a construction delivery method that involves securing competitively bid lumpsum construction. Contracts are based on complete and prescriptive contract documents prepared by architects and engineers and made up of drawings, specifications, and supporting information. The design-bid-build/lumpsum (or stipulated sum) delivery system, uses competitive bidding among general contractors, with performance/payment bonds, and various other statutory requirements and State Board of Education rules being employed to protect the owner's investments. While bidders may be asked to prequalify, the procurement process must be a competitive sealed bid, with the price being the only factor, subject to the bidder showing it is both responsible and its bid is responsive to the solicitation.
(b) Construction Manager/General Contractor at Risk - a construction delivery method that allows the owner to (1) hire a construction manager at any time during the project pre-design phase. The construction manager and the architect/engineer work together to develop and estimate costs for the design. A guaranteed maximum price is provided by the construction manager at risk who then receives proposals and awards contracts to subcontractors; or (2) hire a general contractor after the completion of the design phase. The procurement process for the construction manager or general contract or must be a competitive qualifications selection. Following a procedure similar to that contained in O.C.G.A.§ 36-91-20et seq. is acceptable.
(c) Design/Build - a construction delivery method where in the builder and the architect are one entity hired to deliver the project. A guaranteed maximum price is usually furnished in the beginning of the project based upon the design criteria prepared by the Client. The procurement process must be a competitive qualifications-based selection. Following a procedure similar to that contained in O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20et seq. is acceptable.
(d) Construction Management Services - an individual, company, or firm that represents the governmental agency in an administrative and oversight capacity of a construction project. Construction Management Services are intended to cover the services of a Construction Manager Agent not at risk, Construction Manager, and Program Manager. The procurement process must be a competitive qualifications-based selection. Following a procedure similar to that contained in O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20et seq. is acceptable.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) The requirements of this rule shall apply to all public school construction projects regardless of project funding source unless exempt by O.C.G.A. § 36-91-22.
(b) Local boards of education seeking bids or proposals on a school construction project shall comply with the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 36-91-1, and shall advertise for bids or proposals in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20(b) and 36-80-26.
(c) Local boards of education shall not restrict open and competitive award requirements on construction projects. Any criteria or process adopted by a local board of education for the purpose of pre-qualifying prospective bidders shall be in compliance with O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20(f) and 36-91-23.
(d) Local boards of education shall make available complete sets of plans and specifications to all bidders on construction projects using a design/bid/build construction delivery method. Projects using any other construction delivery methods shall submit plans and specifications for approval as appropriate based on the delivery method used. For construction delivery methods where competitive sealed bids and/or proposals are appropriate, plans and specifications shall be available to all offerors as required by O.C.G.A. § 36-91-21(c).
(e) Local boards of education shall not restrict the competitive award requirements on construction projects on the basis of race, religion, sex, disability, age or national origin.
(f) Local boards of education shall submit to the department a certified tabulation of all bids/proposals received for construction projects.
(g) Local boards of education may use deductive alternates to reduce the base bid on state-funded projects using the design/bid/build construction delivery method; however, the deductive alternates shall be bid prioritized and exercised in numerical sequence as used in the bid documents. When the local school system determines that deductive alternatives must be selected, all bids will be recalculated removing the deductive alternates to be taken. The low bid shall then be determined on the base bid less any deductive alternates.
(h) The plans and specifications shall indicate if the project will be awarded by base bid or base bid plus selected alternates. Additive alternates may be exercised in any order. If the plans and specifications state that the contract will be awarded on base bid, then additive alternates are considered only after the low base bidder has been declared. If the plans and specifications state that the project will be awarded by base bid plus additive alternates, all bids will be recalculated adding the additive alternates to be taken. The low bid shall then be determined on the base bid plus the selected additive alternates.
(i) Local boards of education shall comply with all procedures contained in Guidelines for Receiving State Capital Outlay Funds when bidding state-funded Capital Outlay projects. Copies of this publication may be obtained from the department or downloaded directly from the web at http://www.gadoe.org/Finance-and-Business-Operations/Facilities-Services/Documents/8.%20Guideline%20for%20Receiving%20State%20Capital%20Outlay%20Funds%20051012.pdf.

Rule 160-5-4-.19 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.20 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.21 Repealed

Rule 160-5-4-.22 Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracts for Public School Facilities

(1) DEFINITIONS.
(a) Guaranteed energy savings contract - a contract executed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-37-3 between a local board of education and a qualified energy service provider for evaluation, recommendation, and implementation of one or more energy conservation measures which shall include, at a minimum, the design and installation of equipment and, if applicable, operation and maintenance of any of the measures implemented, and guaranteed annual savings which must meet or exceed the total annual contract payments made by the governmental unit for such contract, including financing charges to be incurred by the governmental unit over the life of the contract.
(2) REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Local boards of education are authorized to enter into guaranteed energy savings contracts as provided in the Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-37-1, et. seq.). Local boards of education shall adhere to all applicable requirements the Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting Act when entering into guaranteed energy savings contracts, including, but not limited to, requirements for provider selection and public advertisement.
(b) Local boards of education shall follow all State Board of Education rules and Georgia Department of Education guidelines for processing plans and specifications of capital improvements made by local boards of education as a part of guaranteed energy savings contracts.
(c) Capital improvements made as a part of guaranteed energy savings contracts may be eligible for capital outlay funding under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-260. To utilize capital outlay funding for capital improvements made as a part of guaranteed energy savings contracts, local boards of education shall ensure any such capital improvement is eligible for capital outlay funding under the restrictions of the applicable bond issue of the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission (GSFIC) and shall follow all State Board of Education rules and Georgia Department of Education guidelines for capital outlay projects, including the Guideline for Energy Savings Performance Contracts.
(d) Local boards of education shall not be required to follow public bidding and advertisement requirements of O.C.G.A. § 36-91-20 or § 36-91-21 for guaranteed energy savings contracts provided the local board of education follows the requirements of the Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting Act.
(e) Local boards of education are encouraged to collaborate with the Georgia Energy Finance Authority (GEFA) prior to entering into a guaranteed energy savings contract.