The Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) is a quasi-independent government authority created to reform the process of funding capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth’s public schools. The MSBA strives to work with local communities to create affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient schools across Massachusetts.
The Legislature created the MSBA in 2004 to replace the former school building assistance program administered by the Department of Education (now the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).
The MSBA, which has a dedicated revenue stream of one penny of the state’s 6.25-percent sales tax, is collaborating with municipalities to equitably invest up to $2.5 billion in schools across the Commonwealth by finding the right-sized, most fiscally responsible and educationally appropriate solutions to create safe, sound, and sustainable learning environments.
In its eight-year history, the MSBA has made more than $10.2 billion in reimbursements to cities, towns, and regional school districts for school construction projects. Instead of waiting years for reimbursement, districts now receive payments from the MSBA as costs are incurred, usually within 15 days of submitting a request through the MSBA’s online Pro-Pay System. These timely payments have saved municipalities over $2.9 billion in avoided local interest costs and have provided much needed cash flow to communities in difficult economic times.
To fulfill its mission of bringing reform and innovation to the school building process, the MSBA has accomplished the following:
- MSBA has completed final audits of 947 projects totaling over $16.4 billion in submitted costs;
- Achieved audit savings of over $1.4 billion; and
- Audited approximately $2.7 billion in costs for the 217 projects currently submitting monthly requests for reimbursement
- Made more than 1,150 site visits to more than 250 school districts as part of the MSBA’s review and due diligence process
- Launched the Green Repair Program for the repair and replacement of roofs, windows, and boilers
- Received over 180 Statements of Interest from communities interested in participating in the program
- Developed data based enrollment projection methodology in order to build right-sized schools
- Saved more than $162 million by developing a process that has increased oversight of school improvement projects and developed partnerships with districts to establish a reasonable project budget and to prohibit growth in scope or budget
- Saved approximately $230 million by focusing on core academic spaces
- Created the Model School Program to effectively adapt and re-use the design of successful, recently constructed elementary, middle and high schools