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Policy 6020 Implementation Procedures - School Planning/School Construction Programs

Implementation Procedures

These procedures apply to the construction of new schools and the modernization/renovation of existing facilities that are included in the Board’s Capital Improvement Program.

I. Long-range Planning and Student Population Projection

The Office of School Planning will:

  1. Gather enrollment, birth, population, and housing data from appropriate sources.

  2. Provide an annual projection using the cohort survival method or other established projection methodology.

  3. Provide an annual report of projection accuracy to the Board of Education.

II. Capital Improvement Program

The Office of School Planning and the Office of School Construction will:

  1. Develop the Capital Improvement Program based on student population growth and anticipated needs of that population.

  2. Present the Board’s requested six-year Capital Improvement Program, which includes a request for the next fiscal year (capital budget) and the following five-year period.

  3. Prepare the State of Maryland Capital Budget funding request.

  4. Incorporate the state budget request with the Board six-year Capital Improvement Program to determine the annual county Capital Improvement Program request.

  5. Select and analyze potential school site(s).

III. Site Selection

Site selection and acquisition is recommended to the Board after being analyzed for appropriateness for a school. (See Policy 6000 Site Selection and Acquisition.)

IV. Architect Firm and Construction Manager Selection

Procurement of architectural and construction management services are recommended to and approved by the Board in compliance with Policy 6030 Procurement of Architectural and Construction Management Services.

V. Facility Planning and Facility Design

A facility planning team is convened, consisting of school and community members, personnel from the Office of School Construction, a designee from the Office of Safety and Security, other Central Office personnel, such as the Offices of the Environment, Facilities, Food and Nutrition Services, Student Transportation, the project architect, construction manager, and others who may be named by the Superintendent/designee. The planning team provides input to the architect in developing a series of three design studies that meets Board policy as well as the objectives of the applicable educational specifications or renovation guidelines.

The series of three design phase studies are as follows:

  1. Schematic Design Phase

    1. Planning team named by the Superintendent/designee

    2. Description of conceptual design

    3. Initial cost analysis

    4. Presentation to and approval by the Board.

  2. Design Development Phase

    1. Description of the design

    2. Detailed layouts of subject areas

    3. Cost analysis

    4. Presentation to and approval by the Board.

  3. Construction Documents Phase

    1. Description of the final design

    2. Cost analysis and cost reduction

    3. Final review of drawings and specifications

    4. Presentation to and approval by the Board

    5. Preparation of bid documents.

The above steps may be combined. In each phase, the effect on the occupants, the building structure, and/or systems is considered. Each phase is submitted for review and approval by the Board and the Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC). Copies of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) response to the design submission review letters from the IAC approving agencies will also be submitted to the Board.

VI. Bid and Award

Pursuant to Policy 4050 Procurement of Goods and/or Services, these procedures call for a publicly announced bid period during which interested bidders examine the bid documents and submit a sealed bid by the date and time required. The bid documents are opened in public and the price submitted for each bid item is read aloud. At a subsequent meeting of the Board, the results of the bid are presented and a recommendation to award to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder is made.

The final decision is made by the Board. Upon submission of all documents, bonds, and other matters required in the contract, a formal contract is signed.

VII. Contract and Construction Administration

  1. Office of School Construction

    The project architect administers the contract, answers technical questions, approves submittals, and initiates change orders and requests for proposals subject to the Board’s approval. The Office of School Construction coordinates the completion schedule with the principal/designee and other school system personnel to ensure that furniture and equipment deliveries, technology services, and food services satisfy the requirements for their respective sections. Prior to the opening of school, the Office of School Construction monitors each project to resolve any unanticipated problems and continues this supervision during the warranty period.

    The Office of School Construction supervises the construction, budget, schedule, and quality of work, administers change order requests, and administers the warranty period. When school projects are technically complex, have a very short construction time, or require staff attention beyond the time available, a construction manager may be hired to manage the construction process.

  2. Offices of the Environment, Facilities and Safety and Security

The Offices of the Environment, Facilities and Safety and Security monitor the design and construction phases at regular intervals and in response to specific concerns. Consistent with all statutory requirements, monitoring includes Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), and abatement of potentially hazardous materials.

VIII. Official Acceptance of Capital Improvement Projects

New facilities and other capital improvement projects may be accepted in several ways. If conditions permit, the school system will wait until all major and minor building system corrections are fully complete and all minor repairs, deficiencies and discrepancies (punch list items) have been corrected. The project architect will then certify that the building is complete and has been constructed according to the drawings and specifications. This marks the beginning of the warranty/guarantee period for the building. School facilities are typically scheduled so that all construction will be complete and the building ready for acceptance in early summer. Final inspection and acceptance involves a review of the project at substantial completion of construction, which includes listing items to be adjusted, corrected, or completed by the contractor’s "punch list." In most cases, the project is complete except for minor system work and completion of the punch list items by late summer.

The Office of School Construction is responsible for certifying, as applicable, beneficial occupancy, final occupancy, move-in, punch list, and warranty/guarantee.

IX. Post-Acceptance Evaluation

  1. After project acceptance, furnishings and movable equipment can be installed, supplies can be delivered and stored, and the staff can occupy the facility for operation. At this time, the construction project enters into a one-year guarantee and a two-year mechanical/electrical guarantee period during which time discrepancies in the workmanship, materials, and equipment supplied under the contract are noted and corrected. Some specifically identified warranties/guarantee periods may be longer than one to two years.

  2. Following the move-in, the Office of School Construction works closely with the school administration and maintenance personnel to correct any problems that arise during the warranty period.

  3. After the first instructional year following construction, a walk-through of the facility is conducted to evaluate the success of the facility as a teaching environment and the success of the educational concepts in the General Elementary Educational Specifications for New Schools, or General Educational Specifications for New Howard County Middle Schools, or General Educational Specifications High Schools or Guidelines Manual for Renovations and Modernizations of Existing Schools in effect at the time the project was designed. The facility is also evaluated as to use of materials, building systems, construction quality, and other aspects pertaining to the building.

  4. A walk-through of the building by a representative team of stakeholders may include a:

    1. Teacher representative

    2. Administration personnel

    3. Custodian

    4. PTA representative

    5. School facilities representative(s); and

    6. Designee from the Offices of Safety and Security.

X. Relocatable Facilities

Placement of relocatable facilities is determined by and implemented as follows:

  1. Presentation of student population projections.

  2. Identification of where new units are needed.

  3. Evaluation of site plans.

  4. Evaluation of cost implications.

  5. Presentation to and approval by the Board.

  6. Reassignment or procurement of units.

  7. Installation of units.

  8. Post installation inspection by the Office of School Construction.

XI. Definitions

Within the context of these implementation procedures, the following definitions apply:

  1. Beneficial Occupancy – The use by the owner of a project or portion thereof before all the terms of the contract are complete.

  2. Bonds – General obligation documents issued by the county to borrow money to fund capital projects.

  3. Final Occupancy – The point at which all or a designated portion of a building complies with the provisions of a contract and all applicable county and state statutes and regulations.

  4. Projection Methodology – Procedure to develop student enrollment projections that includes, but is not limited to historical cohort survival ratios, birth rates, new housing units, housing resales, apartment turnover and net migration.

  5. Punch List – List made near the completion of work, indicating items to be furnished or work to be performed by the contractor or subcontractor in order to complete the work as specified in the contract documents.

  6. Warranty/Guarantee Period – Period of time in which the quality of work and/or satisfactory performance is guaranteed.

XII. Monitoring

Policy 6020 implementation procedures will be overseen by the Division of Operations.

XIII. History

ADOPTED: September 13, 1990

REVIEWED: December 20, 2017


  • November 1, 2018

  • February 10, 2022

REVISED: January 14, 2010

EFFECTIVE: February 10, 2022

Policy History Key

  • Adopted-Original date the Board took action to approve a policy
  • Reviewed-The date the status of a policy was assessed by the Superintendent’s Standing Policy Group
  • Modified-The date the Board took action to alter a policy that based on the recommendation of the Superintendent/designee did not require a comprehensive examination
  • Revised-The date the Board took action on a that policy based on the recommendation of the Superintendent/designee needed a comprehensive examination
  • Effective-The date a policy is implemented throughout the HCPSS, typically July 1 following Board action.