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​​​​PlanCon 2.0

Act 70 of 2019 reauthorizes the Commonwealth's PlanCon program. The modernization of the program includes a reduction of approval points and a streamlined reimbursement process.

Included in the guidance for this section is a crosswalk that compares the former PlanCon approval process with the current PlanCon process. Act 34 (when applicable) and general industry timelines are included as well.

State building code has not been amended during this process.

Act 34 legislation is applicable to all building additions work in the Commonwealth. Act 34 has not been amended during this process and Division of School Facilities oversight remains when PlanCon reimbursement is being sought. Act 34 is also applicable when PlanCon is not being sought but in that circumstance PDE oversight is not binding but rather advisory in nature.

​​Under​lying Code and Regulations

The following is a list of laws, regulations, standards and Basic Education Circulars (BEC) which pertain to the PlanCon process:

  1. Articles 7 and 25 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949;
  2. Chapter 21, School Buildings, of the State Board of Education Regulations;
  3. Chapter 349, School Building Standards, of the Department of Education Standards;
  4. BEC 24 P.S. § 25-2574, "Reimbursements for School Construction Bond Issues," provides information on state reimbursement for bond issues funding school construction projects; and
  5. BEC 24 P.S. § 7-733, "School Construction Reimbursement Criteria," contains the following requirements for reimbursable school construction projects:
  1. CURRENT STANDARDS - A condition of reimbursement is to bring the entire building up to prevailing educational and reasonably current construction standards;
  2. DISTRICT-WIDE FACILITY STUDY - A district-wide facility study for all district facilities must have been completed prior to the submission of PlanCon Part A and within two years of that date. Refer to Attachment C in the PlanCon Part A instructions for additional information on district-wide facility study requirements;
  3. WOOD CONSTRUCTION - For any project involving the renovation of a multi-storied building with a Department of Labor and Industry classification of wood frame or ordinary construction (i.e., interior framing is partially or wholly of wood), a district must describe the plans and methods designed to address the health and safety issues related to this type of construction;
  4. 20-YEAR RULE - Buildings may only qualify for school construction reimbursement every twenty years at a minimum unless a variance is requested and approved. To determine the applicability of the "20-year" rule on a project building, calculate the number of years from the bid opening date of the previous reimbursable project to the bid opening date of the planned project; and
  5. 20% RULE FOR ALTERATION COSTS - An alteration project may not be eligible for reimbursement where the costs for alterations are less than 20% of the project building's replacement value unless a variance is requested and approved. This rule does not apply to area vocational-technical schools (AVTSs) or to leased buildings.

    A request for a variance from the departmental policies in BEC 24 P.S. § 7-733, except for the "20% Rule for Alteration Costs", must be submitted in the form of a resolution of the board of school directors. A request for a variance from the "20% Rule for Alteration Costs" may be submitted on the applicable PlanCon forms in PlanCon Parts A, D and G. Any request for variance must document the reasons why the variance should be granted.  ​