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California Public School Construction - Joint Agency Information Page

This website provides important links to state agency regulatory approval information for the school construction process, and key contacts in each agency that will assist you with the process. For more detailed information about each agencies’ role in the process, please see The Role of State Agencies in the School Facility Program document.

State Agencies

  • California Department of Education (CDE)
  • Division of the State Architect (DSA)
  • Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
  • Office of Public School Construction (OPSC)
  • Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)

Public School Construction Process with State Funding - Flowchart

This flowchart shows the typical approval and funding process for K-12 schools constructed or modernized with state matching funds. Click below to open flowchart in a separate page.


flowchart

State Agency - Key Web Page Links by Project Phase

Planning Approvals - CDE, DTSC, and OPSC

Planning Approvals -  CDE, DTSC, and OPSC

Each process section listed on this website refers you to key information and contacts you need in order to complete that process. The process is virtually the same whether your school district is building a state funded new school or modernizing an existing one. For an overall scope of each agency involved in the process, please see The Role of State Agencies in the School Facility Program document.

OPSC Project Tracking Number Generator

(A project tracking number is required by CDE, DSA and OPSC when starting a project)

CDE provides information to assist school districts and their communities in creating well-planned, K-12 learning environments in safe, clean, and up-to date schools. DTSC assesses sites when new acreage is required.

CDE Facilities Information

CDE Site Review Process

CDE Plan Review Process and Required Forms

DTSC School Facility Information

CDE School Facilities Contacts

DTSC School Facilities Contacts


State Funding - District Eligibility

For information on how to establish eligibility, or the current status of the district’s eligibility for State funding under the School Facility Program (SFP), please contact the OPSC Project Manager.

OPSC Contacts – Project Managers

Energy Efficient Design Programs

Energy Efficient Design Programs

There are many opportunities for school districts to incorporate energy efficiency and “green” building concepts in to their projects. Below is a list of programs offered that can potentially provide funding for assistance with energy efficient or green project designs.

The California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) makes changes to corporate income taxes and, except as specified, provides $550 million annually from the General Fund to the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund, or the Job Creation Fund, for five fiscal years beginning with the 2013-14 fiscal year. 

California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39)


The U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs. For more information on the program, please see:

Green Ribbon School Award Program  


The Bright Schools Program offers services to help identify the most cost-effective energy saving opportunities for your school facility. Savings can typically reduce annual utility costs by 10 percent or more. In addition, efficiency upgrades can reduce annual maintenance costs and greenhouse gas emissions, while improving indoor air quality and the overall building comfort. 

Bright Schools Program

Bright Schools Program Brochure


California is reducing its environmental footprint through sustainable state government operations and practices including energy efficient building design and construction, renewable energy generation at state facilities, environmentally preferable purchasing, and green vehicle policies.

Green California - Home Page 


List of resources for Green Schools - U.S. Department of Education reference page. This page is designed to make ED-Green Ribbon School resources easier to find. It is offered as a convenience for schools, teachers, parents and students. 

Green Schools – U.S. Department of Education Resource List

DSA is engaged with school districts and industry representatives in facilitating review and approval of energy efficient installations on school sites. Districts are encouraged to work with DSA on energy efficient solutions when modernizing existing facilities or constructing new facilities.

 

 

Plan Review and Approval - Submittal to DSA

Plan Review and Approval - Submittal to DSA

DSA provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities.  DSA also develops accessibility, structural safety, and historical building codes and standards utilized in various public and private buildings throughout the State of California.

DSA reviews state-funded construction projects to ensure the project design meets code requirements for structural integrity, fire and life safety and accessibility. DSA approval is required for any project seeking state funding and must be completed before the project begins construction. Please see the following pages for more information on project submittal and completion.

DSA Project Submittal, Review, Oversight and Closeout/Certification - Main Page

DSA Project Submittal – Instructions and Required Forms

State Funding - OPSC

State Funding - OPSC

OPSC is under the authority of the State of California’s Department of General Services. As staff to the State Allocation Board, OPSC implements and administers a $35 billion voter-approved school facilities construction program.

OPSC Homepage

OPSC Funding Programs – Main Page

OPSC Project Tracking Search Tool

OPSC Contacts – Project Managers

OPSC Directory of Services


Construction - DIR Prevailing Wage

Construction - DIR Prevailing Wage

When all required approvals are obtained and the project is ready to begin actual construction, prevailing wage monitoring is an essential piece to ensuring that your project is completed in accordance with all Labor Code requirements. The information below gets you started on the important process of notifying and working with the Department of Industrial Relations through this process.

The Compliance Monitoring Unit or “CMU” was a component within the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement created to monitor and enforce prevailing wage requirements on public works projects that received state bond funding and on other projects that were legally required to use the CMU.

The laws and regulations that govern the new program became effective January 1, 2012, but ended June 20, 2014.  Only projects for which the public works contract was awarded on or after January 1, 2012, and on or before June 19, 2014 were subject to the CMU requirements.

DIR Prevailing Wage/Compliance Monitoring Unit Main Page

Senate Bill 854 created the Public Works Contractor Registration Program. The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) monitoring and enforcement is now funded from registration fees rather than payments from contract awarders. For more information please see the DIR website page:

SB 854 - Important Information for Awarding Bodies


Project Close Out

Project Close Out

Project closeout is the process that Division of the State Architect (DSA)  uses to determine that the constructed project complies with the codes and regulations governing school construction. School districts are required to submit progress and expenditure reports to OPSC if they received state funding.

When the project is finished and all construction activities are complete, DSA will issue a Final Certification of Construction. The links below will help to guide you through the process of closing your project out. 

DSA Construction Certification

OPSC Substantial Progress and Expenditure Audit Guide

OPSC Project Expenditure Report  

OPSC Project Information Worksheet

Key Contacts by Agency

Key Contacts by Agency

Below are the links to key school facility contacts within each agency. These contact links are also listed in the appropriate sections above.  

CDE School Facilities Contacts

DSA Contact Information – Headquarters and Regional Offices

DTSC School Facilities Contacts

OPSC Contacts – Project Managers

OPSC Directory of Services

DIR Prevailing Wage/Compliance Monitoring Contacts

 

Purpose of this Web Page

The California Public School Construction Process Information Page provides a helpful overview of the approval and funding process for schools constructed or modernized with state matching funds. By clicking the process headings at the top of the page (or at the bottom of the page) key links to agency regulatory approval information is provided, along with key contacts in each agency for assistance. If you have general questions about this web page, please click here to contact OPSC communications.