State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_115C > GS_115C-521

§ 115C‑521.  Erection ofschool buildings.

(a)        It shall be theduty of local boards of education to provide classroom facilities adequate tomeet the requirements of G.S. 115C‑47(10) and 115C‑301. Localboards of education shall submit their long‑range plans for meetingschool facility needs to the State Board of Education by January 1, 1988, andevery five years thereafter. In developing these plans, local boards ofeducation shall consider the costs and feasibility of renovating old schoolbuildings instead of replacing them.

(b)        It shall be theduty of the boards of education of the several local school administrativeschool units of the State to make provisions for the public school term byproviding adequate school buildings equipped with suitable school furniture andapparatus. The needs and the cost of those buildings, equipment, and apparatus,shall be presented each year when the school budget is submitted to therespective tax‑levying authorities. The boards of commissioners shall begiven a reasonable time to provide the funds which they, upon investigation,shall find to be necessary for providing their respective units with buildingssuitably equipped, and it shall be the duty of the several boards of countycommissioners to provide funds for the same.

Upon determination by a localboard of education that the existing permanent school building does not havesufficient classrooms to house the pupil enrollment anticipated for the school,the local board of education may acquire and use as temporary classrooms forthe operation of the school, relocatable or mobile classroom units, whetherbuilt on the lot or not, which units and method of use shall meet the approvalof the School Planning Division of the State Board of Education, and whichunits shall comply with all applicable requirements of the North Carolina StateBuilding Code and of the local building and electrical codes applicable to thearea in which the school is located. These units shall also be anchored in amanner required to assure their structural safety in severe weather. Theacquisition and installation of these units shall be subject in all respects tothe provisions of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes. The provisions ofChapter 87, Article 1, of the General Statutes, shall not apply to persons,firms or corporations engaged in the sale or furnishing to local boards ofeducation and the delivery and installation upon school sites of classroomtrailers as a single building unit or of relocatable or mobile classroomsdelivered in less than four units or sections.

(c)        The building of allnew school buildings and the repairing of all old school buildings shall beunder the control and direction of, and by contract with, the board ofeducation for which the building and repairing is done. If a board of educationis considering building a new school building to replace an existing schoolbuilding, the board shall not invest any construction money in the new buildingunless it submits to the State Superintendent and the State Superintendent submitsto the North Carolina Historical Commission an analysis that compares the costsand feasibility of building the new building and of renovating the existingbuilding and that clearly indicates the desirability of building the newbuilding. No board of education shall invest any money in any new buildinguntil it has (i) developed plans based upon a consideration of the StateBoard's facilities guidelines, (ii) submitted these plans to the State Boardfor its review and comments, and (iii) reviewed the plans based upon aconsideration of the comments it receives from the State Board. No local boardof education shall contract for more money than is made available for theerection of a new building. However, this subsection shall not be construed soas to prevent boards of education from investing any money in buildings thatare being constructed pursuant to a continuing contract of construction asprovided for in G.S. 115C‑441(c). All contracts for buildings shall be inwriting and all buildings shall be inspected, received, and approved by thelocal superintendent and the architect before full payment is made therefor.Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit boards of education from repairingand altering buildings with the help of janitors and other regular employees ofthe board.

In the design and constructionof new school buildings and in the renovation of existing school buildings thatare required to be designed by an architect or engineer under G.S. 133‑1.1,the local board of education shall participate in the planning and reviewprocess of the Energy Guidelines for School Design and Construction that aredeveloped and maintained by the Department of Public Instruction and shalladopt local energy‑use goals for building design and operation that takeinto account local conditions in an effort to reduce the impact of operationcosts on local and State budgets. In the design and construction of new schoolfacilities and in the repair and renovation of existing school facilities, thelocal board of education shall consider the placement and design of windows touse the climate of North Carolina for both light and ventilation in case ofpower shortages. A local board shall also consider the installation of solarenergy systems in the school facilities whenever practicable.

In the case of any schoolbuildings erected, repaired, or equipped with any money loaned or granted bythe State to any local school administrative unit, no board of education shallinvest any money until it has (i) developed plans based upon a consideration ofthe State Board's facilities guidelines, (ii) submitted these plans to theState Board for its review and comments, and (iii) reviewed the plans basedupon a consideration of the comments it receives from the State Board.

(c1)      No local board ofeducation shall apply for a certificate of occupancy for any new middle or highschool building until the plans for the science laboratory areas of thebuilding have been reviewed and approved to meet accepted safety standards forschool science laboratories and related preparation rooms and stockrooms. Thereview and approval of the plans may be done by the State Board of Education orby any other entity that is licensed or authorized by the State Board to do so.

(d)        Local boards ofeducation shall make no contract for the erection of any school building unlessthe site upon which it is located is owned in fee simple by the board:Provided, that the board of education of a local school administrative unit,with the approval of the board of county commissioners, may appropriate fundsto aid in the establishment of a school facility and the operation thereof inan adjoining local school administrative unit when a written agreement betweenthe boards of education of the administrative units involved has been reachedand the same recorded in the minutes of the boards, whereby children from theadministrative unit making the appropriations shall be entitled to attend theschool so established.

In all cases where title toproperty has been vested in the trustees of a special charter district whichhas been abolished and has not been reorganized, title to the property shall bevested in the local board of education of the county embracing the formerspecial charter district.

(e)        The State Board ofEducation shall establish within the Department of Public Instruction a centralclearinghouse for access by local boards of education that may want to use aprototype design in the construction of school facilities. The State Boardshall compile necessary publications and a computer database to distributeinformation on prototype designs to local school administrative units. Allarchitects and engineers registered in North Carolina may submit plans forinclusion in the computer database and these plans may be accessed by anyperson. The original architect of record or engineer of record shall retainownership and liability for a prototype design. The State Board may adopt rulesit considers necessary to implement this subsection.  (1955, c. 1372, art. 15, ss.5‑7; 1969, c. 1022, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; c. 638, s. 1; 1983, c. 761,s. 93; 1985, c. 783, s. 3; 1987, c. 622, s. 14; 1993, c. 416, s. 1; c. 465, s.1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 775, s. 6; 1995, c. 8, s. 1; 1996, 2nd Ex.Sess., c. 18, ss. 18.17(c), (d); 1997‑222, s. 3; 1997‑236, s. 1;2009‑59, s. 3.)