August 21, 2014

SB 12-179: Requires All Schools to Comply with Building and Fire Code Regulations; Bars Individuals With Financial Interest from Serving on PSCCA Board

On April 26, 2012, Sen. Gail Schwartz and Rep. Tom Massey introduced SB 12-179 – Concerning Governmental Oversight of Public School Capital Construction Projects. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

On and after July 1, 2012, the bill prohibits an individual who has any financial interest in a potential or funded “Building Excellent Schools Today Act” (BEST) project from serving as a member of the public school capital construction assistance board. The bill requires the BEST board to include information regarding assistance fund revenues and the assistance fund balance in the annual report that it presents to specified committees of the general assembly and to make the report available electronically on the web site of the department of education.

Under current law, the state division of fire safety generally adopts building standards for public school capital construction, conducts plan reviews, permitting, and inspections for public school buildings and structures, and issues certificates of occupancy for the buildings and structures. The division may, however, qualify a local building department to conduct those activities within the department’s jurisdiction, and a school board, a charter school, or the state charter school institute may go to a prequalified appropriate building department rather than the division for required plan reviews, permitting, inspections, and certificate of occupancy issuance. An appeals board considers appeals of the division’s administrative decisions. The bill:

  • Encourages the division to prequalify appropriate building departments whenever feasible and requires a school board that has buildings or structures only within the territory of one municipality or only within the unincorporated territory of one county, a charter school, or the state charter school institute to go to a prequalified appropriate building department, if one is available, in lieu of the division for required plan reviews, permitting, inspections, and certificate of occupancy issuance;
  • Adds the director of the division of public school capital construction assistance in the department of education to the appeals board and clarifies the scope of the board’s powers;
  • Requires the BEST division to conduct supplemental plan reviews for any BEST-funded public school capital construction project for which a prequalified appropriate building department, rather than the division, is conducting necessary plan reviews, issuing building permits, conducting inspections, and issuing a certificate of occupancy; and
  • Requires the BEST division to ensure that the owner’s representative for any BEST–funded project to be constructed pursuant to a design-build contract is wholly independent of the contractor.

The bill is assigned to the Education Committee; committee review is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 Upon Adjournment.

Since this summary, the bill was amended in the Senate Education Committee and referred to Appropriations, but was recalled for reconsideration by the Education Committee.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

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