3 Aggregate Road, Poland, ME 04274
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Futures Task Force

School Revolving Renovation Fund

When will we know about the SRRF grant and what we will be awarded?

RSU 16 submitted grant applications for the SRRF program on October 31st, with the assistance of EMC. SRRF guidelines state that notifications of awards will begin February 1st, 2024. At that time RSU 16 will know exactly what funds, if any, will be allocated to the district. Whatever funds are awarded will be handled in the manner of 60% grant, and 40% loan. The remaining 40% will need to be funded locally by RSU 16. 

Did you submit projects for all three elementary schools?

Yes, RSU 16 submitted three projects for each elementary school.

What is the School Revolving Renovation Fund?

The Maine Department of Education's School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF) provides funding assistance to school administrative units (SAUs) to ensure that students have a safe, healthy and appropriate learning environment. The SRRF offers funding where SAUs have identified needs in the areas of health and safety, building systems, energy and water conservation, and learning space upgrades. The Maine Municipal Bond Bank and the Department of Education jointly administer the program.

What kind of projects does the Renovation Fund support?

  • Priority 1: Health, safety and compliance issues including roof structural upgrades; improvements to indoor air quality; compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; hazardous material abatement or removal; and other health, safety and compliance issues
  • Priority 2: Repairs and improvements not related to health, safety and compliance limited to repairs and improvements to school building structures, windows, doors and water supply or waste disposal systems.
  • Priority 3: Repairs and improvements related to energy and water conservation
  • Priority 4: Upgrades of learning spaces
  • Priority 5: Other projects

Is the Renovation Fund a grant or a loan?

The Renovation Fund is both a grant and a loan. The SRRF is funded through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. It is a State and local partnership with each providing a portion of a project’s funding. 

The fund provides loans to SAUs to finance project expenditures. A portion of each loan is considered a grant and is forgiven. The forgiveness rate range is based on the percentage of State subsidy paid to the local SAU. (RSU 16’s State subsidy is 61.98% and the local share is 38.02%.) The balance of the loan is paid back over either five or 10 years at a 0 percent interest rate. The maximum loan that can be provided is capped at $2 million per priority, per school building within any five-year period. (This is an increase from 2022 when the cap was 1 million.) A district can apply for multiple projects as the loan cap is by school.

What are the loan terms?

The term is subject to the loan amount before forgiveness.  The term is up to 5 years for loan amounts $500,000 or less and up to 10 years for loan amounts greater than $500,000. The first payment must be made within one year of the project completion date. All funds must be requisitioned with documentation.

What is the timeline for FY 24 Applications?

July 14, 2023               DOE application process begin

October 31, 2023         SAU deadline for applications to be received by DOE

November 30, 2023     DOE completes review and rating process

December 29, 2023     DOE reviews technical content and completes cost analysis

January 22, 2024         DOE prepares final priority list 

February 1, 2024         DOE issues eligibility certificates (award date)

July 31, 2024               SAU deadline for MMBB loan application process to be completed 

September 30, 2025   SAU deadline for SRRF project work completion and submission of final payment requisition for all projects. (Approved projects must be completed within 20 months of the award date.)

What happens if there are cost overruns or there are left over funds?

The Department will not revise eligibility certificates for additional funding should conditions or estimates change during the course of a project or if the project is delayed.  School administrative units are responsible for project cost overruns.  The final loan amount may be adjusted downward to equal the approved costs incurred at project completion.  Surplus funds from a project may not be used for another project.

What would be required on the initial application to DOE which is due on October 31, 2023?

  • RSU 16 School Board approval of each project. (A separate application is required for each project.)
  • Type of project identified. (Health, Safety, and Compliance Renovations: roof, indoor air quality, abatement, emergency situation, other)
  • Facility information provided. (Age of facility, grade levels, enrollment, renovations or major additions, number of students using the affected area)
  • Detailed project information (Facility maintenance plan, capital improvement plan, how project supports the district’s long-range facility plan, problem addressed, affected area, severity, corrective actions attempted, health and safety deficiencies)
  • Supporting documentation (Photos, documented complaints, any other justification for project)
  • Description of possible solutions and the solution identified
  • If project application is approved, date for public referendum and start and completion dates
  • Project budget and technical supporting documentation developed by a qualified individual or firm

What other school construction programs are offered by the Maine Department of Education?

School systems seeking State-subsidized construction projects can periodically apply to DOE through the highly competitive Major School Capital Construction Program. The next rating cycle will be in 2024. DOE will create a list of projects and rate each project.  New school construction projects are only considered in instances when “renovations are not economically or educationally feasible”.

The last rating cycle was in 2017-2018. The replacement of Minot Consolidated School was rated as 37 out of 71 during that cycle.  Only 7 projects were funded during that cycle (3 for school construction in 2019, 2 in 2020 and 2 in 2022.) Edward Little High School was on the 2010-2011 Priority Funding list and the school is just being completed.

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