New Commissioner’s Regulations regarding Building Condition Surveys (BCS)
The New York State Education Department is currently working on implementing new Commissioner’s Regulations regarding the Building Condition Surveys (BCS) that school districts across the state were required to complete by 2020. At present the Commission’s regulations have put a hold on BCS submittals and reimbursement.
According to the State Education Department, a list of districts will be developed that will stagger the timeframe for the submittal of the BCS, and clarify a new timeline for water testing. The goal is to create an even distribution of submittals and aid reimbursement throughout a five-year period. The schedule will be developed based on the number of public school buildings, while attempting to balance activity within a geographic region. Those districts with the greatest proportion of buildings previously receiving relatively low overall condition rates will be prioritized.
In the 2020 – 2021 school years, Annual Visual Inspections (AVLs) will be required of districts that are not listed for BCS in those first two years. The last group of districts in the newly created cycle will be in the 2025 school year.
For districts needing an updated BCS for capital project planning, the State Education Department has indicated that a “BCS-like study” could be completed as part of pre-referendum work. If the referendum is then passed, the district can place the cost of the BCS study within an approved project’s incidental costs for reimbursement.
Lead testing – which has traditionally been connected to the BCS – will now be completed separately, however, the reimbursement for the cost of the testing will function as it has in the past. Additional guidance on the testing schedule and reimbursement is forthcoming from the New York State Health Department.