Getting Started: Information for District Officials and Representatives

Information for DistrictsWhat is the MSBA?

The MSBA is the Massachusetts School Building Authority. We are a quasi-independent government authority created in 2004 to replace the former school building assistance program administered by the Department of Education (now the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). We work with local communities to create affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient schools across Massachusetts.

We are overseen by a seven-member Board of Directors, chaired by State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. The Board meets six times a year to approve projects through a diligent voting process ensuring that our limited funds are distributed in a responsible and fair manner.

Our staff is led by our Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Jack McCarthy. MSBA employees are focused on achieving the MSBA's mission of partnering with communities to support the design and construction of educationally-appropriate, flexible, sustainable, and cost-effective public school facilities.

You can learn more about us, what we do, and some of our proud achievements in our About Us section.

How do we get started working with the MSBA?

Submit a Statement of Interest ("SOI") during our open submittal period.
Submitting an SOI is not an invitation into the MSBA's capital pipeline; it is the first step in the MSBA's program. Moving forward in the MSBA's process requires further collaboration between the district and the MSBA.

We've submitted a Statement of Interest; what happens next?

Districts can submit a Statement of Interest to either our Accelerated Repair Program, which deals with facilities that may need roof, window, and/or boiler replacements, but are otherwise structurally sound, or our Core Program, which is for projects in need of a larger scope of work.

MSBA staff reviews the submitted SOIs and works to validate the issues identified by districts in their SOI submissions. During this process, the MSBA may seek to obtain additional or clarifying information from districts and determine the appropriate level of due diligence.

If the MSBA invites a district into the Eligibility Period, which requires a vote of the MSBA Board of Directors, the district and the MSBA will work collaboratively to determine potential solutions to the issues identified in the SOI.

Outside of standard new construction or addition/renovation projects (the "Core Program"), the MSBA offers other programs that a potential project could be eligible for:

Where can we learn more about the MSBA process?

The MSBA process is broken down into modules in our Building With Us section. The Building With Us page includes a flow chart showing the overview of the process. You can also print out these Process Overview Charts (PDF) for reference and contact us with your questions.

How can we stay updated on a project in our District?

There are many ways the MSBA distributes information on a project; some information you may be looking for:

  • A general overview of the district's public schools and projects in which the MSBA is participating can be found using our Your School map tool. Just select your district and select "View Projects..." at the top.
  • Information on upcoming site visits and events are posted on our Calendar.  
  • As you can see in our Building With Us section, the MSBA’s Board of Directors approves projects, at various points, as they travel through our Capital Pipeline. Districts with projects requiring Board approval for a preferred schematic design will be asked to present information about the project at a Facilities Assessment Subcommittee ("FAS") meeting in advance of the Board Meeting at which the project vote will occur. The FAS agenda is posted ahead of time and will include the district(s) that are scheduled to present.  Additionally, following the FAS meeting, the results are posted under the "Meeting Information" section of the FAS page.
  • When your project has been presented at our Board of Directors' meeting, you can find the information on our Board Meetings page following the meeting. Click on the "Information from Past…Meetings" to view a particular Board Meeting and the materials presented. In most cases, clicking the district name on the agenda will link to the Board memo that was presented. Board memos contain detailed information on a project, and may include specifics on enrollment and square footage, estimated and maximum total facilities grants, project issues and concerns, reimbursement rates, and Board votes.
    • Districts with projects requiring Board approval for a preferred schematic design will be asked to present information about the project at a Facilities Assessment Subcommittee ("FAS") meeting in advance of the Board Meeting at which the project vote will occur. The FAS agenda is posted ahead of time and will include which district(s) are scheduled to present.  Additionally, following the FAS meeting, the results are posted under the "Meeting Information" section of the FAS page. 
  • Don't forget to use our Search Engine as well, located at the top right corner on every page. 

    MSBA Search Engine

Can we attend MSBA Board meetings?

Our Board of Directors' meetings are open to the public and take place six times a year. Due to space constraints, we suggest no more than one or two representatives from a District attend the Board meeting. Board meetings are working meetings and presentations from the District are not part of the agenda. Districts are, however, when appropriate, given the opportunity to present on their project prior to the Board meeting at our Facilities Assessment Subcommittee meetings, which are attended by Board members and generally take place each month. 

How will the MSBA help our District get the required votes for a project?

This is a common misunderstanding we face: the responsibilities for project support on the local level (the District) versus the State level (the MSBA). The MSBA is a non-entitlement, competitive, funding program. We determine grants based on need and urgency, as expressed by the District and validated by us. We work with the district to determine the most educationally-appropriate and fiscally-responsible solution and determine the portion of funds to appropriate. It is not our responsibility to garner support for a project within a District. Our funds are targeted towards projects and districts that are ready and able to make the financial commitment and move forward in a timely manner. To that end, if a particular District is unwilling to make that commitment, we have a responsibility to the Commonwealth to move forward with another project that can demonstrate that commitment. This question often leads to our vote requirements and what happens if a District fails to pass a vote: more information on vote requirements.

How do I request a public record from the MSBA?

Please visit Public Records Requests.

Still have questions?

Contact our Director of Program Management Diane Sullivan at 617-720-4466