The MSBA is performing "Senior Study" site visits at some of the district identified priority schools for which a Statement of Interest ("SOI") has been submitted. Conducting a Senior Study is part of the due diligence phase of the MSBA's newly reformed school renovation and construction grant program. During the due diligence phase, the MSBA may perform several different types of assessments depending on the school building deficiencies that the district has identified in its SOI. The MSBA assessments typically include review of the SOI and documents submitted in support of the SOI, review of historical enrollment trends, review of educational programs, and/or site visits to the school facility.
A Senior Study is a site visit to the school facility which the district has identified as its priority SOI. During the Senior Study, a team from the MSBA, which includes architects and engineers with many years of school facility and educational programming experience, will tour the school facility. The Senior Study seeks to examine both the physical condition of the school facility as well as programmatic issues that affect the delivery of the required educational program. Before touring the school facility, the MSBA team will briefly interview the superintendent, principal, facilities manager, and other school personnel to:
- Identify goals for and concerns about the school facility
- Confirm information about school building deficiencies that were stated in the SOI
- Understand how any physical condition issues adversely impact the delivery of the educational program
- Learn about the school district’s routine and capital maintenance programs and practices
While touring the facility, the MSBA team will:
- Evaluate the physical condition of the facility, including major building systems (e.g., building envelope, HVAC, electrical distribution, interior finishes)
- Assess overcrowding or capacity issues
- Assess the ability of the facility to support the required educational program
- Assess design factors such as availability of natural light which make a school’s environment conducive to learning
- Examine site considerations
- Evaluate the school district’s maintenance of the facility
The information acquired during the Senior Study will help the MSBA to determine the next steps in the process. The MSBA’s goal is to collaborate with the district to find the right-sized, most fiscally responsible and educationally appropriate solution to the facility’s problems. The Senior Study is not approval of a project. It is part of the due diligence phase of the MSBA’s new process.
The MSBA’s new program is a non-entitlement competitive grant program, and grants are distributed by the MSBA Board of Directors based on need and urgency, as expressed by the community and validated by the MSBA. Funding for the program is capped at $500M per year, with up to $2.5 billion available for school construction and renovation projects over the next five years.