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SB-297 School facilities: approval of plans.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/14/2019 09:00 PM
SB297:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 297


Introduced by Senator Pan

February 14, 2019


An act to amend Sections 17295, 17297, 17307, and 81133 of the Education Code, relating to school facilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 297, as introduced, Pan. School facilities: approval of plans.
(1) Existing law, the Field Act, requires the Department of General Services to supervise the design and construction of any school building, as defined to include buildings used for elementary, secondary, and community college purposes, or the reconstruction or alteration of or addition to any school building if not exempted, to ensure that plans and specifications comply with adopted rules and regulations and specified building standards and to ensure that the work of construction has been performed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications, for the protection of life and property. Existing law requires the governing board of each school district, community college district, or other school authority before adopting any plans for a school building to submit the plans to the department for approval.
For purposes of those provisions, this bill would require the submission of the plans to the department before the commencement of any construction or alteration of any school building instead of before adopting the plans.
(2) Existing law requires a school district, before letting any contract for any construction or alteration of any school building, to first obtain written departmental approval of the plans as to safety of design and construction. Existing law provides that no contract for the construction or alteration of any school building is valid, and no public money shall be paid for any work done under such a contract, unless the plans, specifications, and estimates comply in every particular with specified provisions of the Field Act and the requirements prescribed by the department and unless written departmental approval of the plans, specifications, and estimates has been obtained.
For purposes of those provisions, this bill would require the written departmental approval of the plans, specifications, and estimates, as applicable, before the commencement of any construction or alteration of any school building instead of before the letting of the contract.
(3) With respect to facilities for community colleges for projects where the estimated cost of reconstruction or alteration of, or addition to, a school building exceeds $100,000, but does not exceed $225,000, under existing law if a licensed structural engineer submits a report to the Department of General Services stating that the plans or activities for those projects do not involve structural elements, then certain conditions apply. Those conditions include both (A) that before letting any contract for any construction or alteration of any school building, written departmental approval of the plans, as to safety of design and construction, is required, and (B) that no contract for the construction or alteration of any school building is valid, and no public money shall be paid for any work done under such a contract, unless the plans, specifications, and estimates comply in every particular with specified provisions of the Field Act and the requirements prescribed by the department and unless written departmental approval of the plans, specifications, and estimates has been obtained.
For purposes of those provisions, this bill would require the written departmental approval of the plans, specifications, and estimates, as applicable, before the commencement of any construction or alteration of any school building instead of before the letting of the contract.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 17295 of the Education Code is amended to read:

17295.
 (a) (1) The Department of General Services shall pass upon and approve or reject all plans for the construction or, if the estimated cost exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the alteration of any school building.
(2) To enable the Department of General Services to pass upon and approve plans pursuant to this subdivision, the governing board of each school district and any other school authority before adopting commencement of any construction or alteration of any plans for the school building shall submit the plans to the Department of General Services for approval, and shall pay the fees prescribed in this article.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), where the estimated cost of the reconstruction or alteration of, or an addition to, any school building exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), but does not exceed two hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($225,000), a licensed structural engineer shall examine the proposed project to determine if it is a nonstructural alteration or a structural alteration. If he or she determines that the project is a nonstructural alteration, he or she shall prepare a statement so indicating. If he or she determines that the project is structural, he or she shall prepare plans and specifications for the project which shall be submitted to the Department of General Services for review and approval. A copy of the engineer’s report stating that the work does not affect structural elements shall be filed with the Department of General Services.
(c) If a licensed structural engineer submits a report to the Department of General Services stating that the plans or activities authorized pursuant to subdivision (b) do not involve structural elements, then all of the following shall apply to that project:
(1) The design professional in responsible charge of the project undertaken pursuant to this subdivision shall certify that the plans and specifications for the project meet any applicable fire and life safety standards, and do not affect the disabled access requirements of Section 4450 of the Government Code, and shall submit this certification to the Department of General Services. The letter of certification shall bear the identifying licensing stamp or seal of the design professional. This paragraph does not preclude a design professional from submitting plans and specifications to the Department of General Services along with the appropriate fee for review.
(2) Within 10 days of the completion of any project authorized pursuant to subdivision (b), the school construction inspector of record on the project, who is certified by the Department of General Services to inspect school buildings, shall certify in writing to the Department of General Services that the reconstruction, alteration, or addition has been completed in compliance with the plans and specifications.
(3) The dollar amounts cited in this section shall be increased on an annual basis, commencing January 1, 2018, by the Department of General Services according to an inflationary index governing construction costs that is selected and recognized by the Department of General Services.
(4) No school district shall subdivide a project for the purpose of evading the limitation on amounts cited in this section.
(d) For purposes of this section, “design professional in responsible charge” or “design professional” means the licensed architect, licensed structural engineer, or licensed civil engineer who is responsible for the completion of the design work involved with the project.

SEC. 2.

 Section 17297 of the Education Code is amended to read:

17297.
 Except as provided in Section 17298, before letting any contract for commencement of any construction or alteration of any school building, the written approval of the plans, as to safety of design and construction, by the Department of General Services, shall be first had and obtained.

SEC. 3.

 Section 17307 of the Education Code is amended to read:

17307.
 No contract for the construction or alteration of any school building, made or executed by the governing board of any school district or other public board, body, or officer otherwise vested with authority to make or execute a contract, is valid, and no public money shall be paid for any work done under a contract or for any labor or materials furnished in constructing or altering any building, unless the plans, specifications, and estimates comply in every particular with the provisions of this article and the requirements prescribed by the Department of General Services and unless unless, before the commencement of any construction or alteration of any school building, the approval thereof in writing has first been had and obtained from the Department of General Services.

SEC. 4.

 Section 81133 of the Education Code is amended to read:

81133.
 (a) The Department of General Services shall pass upon, and approve or reject, all plans for the construction or, if the estimated cost exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the alteration of any school building. To enable it to do so, the governing board of each community college district and any other school authority before adopting commencement of any construction or alteration of any plans for the school building shall submit the plans to the Department of General Services for approval, and shall pay the fees prescribed in this article.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), where the estimated cost of reconstruction or alteration of, or addition to, a school building exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), but does not exceed two hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($225,000), a licensed structural engineer shall examine the proposed project to determine if it is a nonstructural alteration or a structural alteration. If he or she determines that the project is a nonstructural alteration, he or she shall prepare a statement so indicating. If he or she determines that the project is structural, he or she shall prepare plans and specifications for the project, which shall be submitted to the Department of General Services for review and approval. A copy of the engineer’s report stating that the work does not affect structural elements shall be filed with the Department of General Services.
(c) If a licensed structural engineer submits a report to the Department of General Services stating that the plans or activities authorized pursuant to subdivision (b) do not involve structural elements, then all of the following shall apply to that project:
(1) The design professional in responsible charge of the project undertaken pursuant to this subdivision shall certify that the plans and specifications for the project meet any applicable fire and life safety standards, and do not affect the disabled access requirements of Section 4450 of the Government Code, and shall submit this certification to the Department of General Services. The letter of certification shall bear the identifying licensing stamp or seal of the design professional. This paragraph does not preclude a design professional from submitting plans and specifications to the Department of General Services along with the appropriate fee for review.
(2) Within 10 days of the completion of any project authorized pursuant to subdivision (b), the school construction inspector of record on the project, who is certified by the Department of General Services to inspect school buildings, shall certify in writing to the Department of General Services that the reconstruction, alteration, or addition has been completed in compliance with the plans and specifications.
(3) The dollar amounts cited in this section shall be increased on an annual basis, commencing January 1, 2018, by the Department of General Services according to an inflationary index governing construction costs that is selected and recognized by the Department of General Services.
(4) No community college district shall subdivide a project for the purpose of evading the limitation on amounts cited in this section.
(5) Before letting any contract for commencement of any construction or alteration of any school building, the written approval of the plans, as to safety of design and construction, by the Department of General Services, shall first be had and obtained.
(6) In each case the application for approval of the plans shall be accompanied by the plans and full, complete, and accurate specifications, and structural design computations, and estimates of cost, which shall comply in every respect with any and all requirements prescribed by the Department of General Services.
(7) (A) The application shall be accompanied by a filing fee in amounts as determined by the Department of General Services based on the estimated cost according to the following schedule:
(i) For the first one million dollars ($1,000,000), a fee of not more than 1.25 percent of the estimated cost.
(ii) For all costs in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000), a fee of not more than 1 percent of the estimated cost.
(B) The minimum fee in any case shall be two hundred fifty dollars ($250). If the actual cost exceeds the estimated cost by more than 5 percent, a further fee shall be paid to the Department of General Services, based on the fee schedule pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) of subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B) of paragraph (8), as applicable, and computed on the amount by which the actual cost exceeds the amount of the estimated cost.
(8) (A) All fees collected under this article shall be paid into the State Treasury and credited to the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction Review Revolving Fund, and are continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal years, for the use of the Department of General Services, subject to approval of the Department of Finance, in carrying out this article.
(B) Adjustments in the amounts of the fees, as determined by the Department of General Services and approved by the Department of Finance, shall be made in order to maintain a reasonable working balance in the fund, provided that the fees shall not exceed the amounts in the fee schedule specified in paragraph (7). If the working fund balance exceeds six months’ expenditures, the Department of General Services shall take action to reduce the fees.
(9) No contract for the construction or alteration of any school building, made or executed by the governing board of any community college district or other public board, body, or officer otherwise vested with authority to make or execute this contract, is valid, and no public money shall be paid for any work done under this contract or for any labor or materials furnished in constructing or altering the building, unless the plans, specifications, and estimates comply in every particular with the provisions of this article and the requirements prescribed by the Department of General Services and unless unless, before the commencement of any construction or alteration of any school building, the approval thereof in writing has first been had and obtained from the Department of General Services.
(d) For purposes of this section, “design professional in responsible charge” or “design professional” means the licensed architect, licensed structural engineer, or licensed civil engineer who is responsible for the completion of the design work involved with the project.