Project Advisories 5-8, June 2010

*Please note, these advisories are from June, 2010 and the meetings referenced have already occurred.


The MSBA’s first informational meeting for Designers is scheduled for Tuesday, August 3, 2010 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM. The meeting will be held at 40 Broad Street in Boston on the 2nd floor. MSBA staff will present an overview of the MSBA’s evaluation process for proposed space summaries and Total Project Budgets (Form 3011s). Because space is limited, the informational meeting is open to only one individual per design firm. Designers who would like to attend are required to respond in advance of the meeting. Seats will be reserved on a first respond basis. Any questions and all reservation requests should be directed to Marie Deslauriers.

Click the link to access the PowerPoint that was presented at the June 7, 2010 OPM informational meeting and an updated Total Project Budget Template can be found in Schematic Design - Module 4. Future project advisories, along with the schedules and agendas for upcoming informational meetings for OPMs and Designers, will be posted at the Project Advisories tab on the MSBA’s website.


Please be advised that the MSBA has recently posted a number of new items in the Building With Us section of our website. These items include:

  • a program overview for the Capital Planning process
  • a spreadsheet summarizing Designer and OPM fees for MSBA-funded school projects
  • a Total Project Budget Template for Project Scope and Budget Agreements
  • a Feasibility Study Agreement Budget Revision Request Form (see Advisory 8)
  • a Project Funding Agreement Budget Revision Request Form (see Advisory 8)
  • a Cost Estimate Comparison Spreadsheet (see Advisory 8)

The MSBA is also developing detailed process modules for the Capital Planning process and a spreadsheet summarizing estimated construction cost data for all projects with a Project Scope and Budget Agreement. For an overview of these modules, click here.


This is to serve as a reminder that the MSBA updates its forms and templates from time to time. These forms and templates can be found on the MSBA’s website. Please note, some minor changes have been made to the designer RFS template in the last few months, including revisions to certain designer contract article references and links to forms on the DSB website. When using MSBA templates, Districts, OPMs and Designers are advised to download from the MSBA’s website each time to ensure that the most recent version of the template is being used.


Section 3.6 of the MSBA’s standard Project Funding Agreement provides: “The District acknowledges and agrees that the Authority’s Total Facilities Grant is subject to the District’s adherence to and maintenance of the Project Scope, Project Schedule, Total Project Budget, and where applicable, the Furnishings and Equipment Schedule, and the District shall not make any changes, additions, or reductions to the Project Scope, Project Schedule, Total Project Budget, or the Furnishings and Equipment Schedule without the prior written approval of the Authority.”

Pursuant to Section of the MSBA’s standard OPM Contract, the OPM is required to:

  • Develop a baseline Project Budget based on the Project Scope and Budget Agreement;
  • Maintain and update the Project Budget during the course of the Project;
  • Report variances to the Project Budget in the OPM Monthly report; and
  • Prepare revisions to the Project Budget, as may be required, and submit these budget revisions to the Owner for approval.

OPMs are reminded that all revisions to the Project Budgets that have been established in either the Feasibility Study Agreement or the Project Funding Agreement (“PFA”) must be submitted to the MSBA for review and acceptance. Failure to submit such budget revisions to the MSBA for its review in a timely manner may delay the processing of reimbursement requests received by the MSBA.

The MSBA will review the District’s documentation explaining the need for transfers either from one budget line item to another and/or the required use for either the construction or owner’s contingency. All budget revisions will need to be reviewed and accepted by the MSBA in order to:

  • Authorize an amendment to the PFA;
  • Authorize a revision to the District’s Propay budget, which would be required to process a payment; and/or
  • Determine if the revision will be considered eligible within the maximum total facilities grant amount established in the PFA.

Budget revisions that may result in an increase to the Total Project Budget will not result in an increase to the maximum total facilities grant amount previously authorized by the MSBA’s Board of Directors.

To facilitate the MSBA’s process for reviewing proposed Project Budget revisions, the MSBA has developed a  Feasibility Study Agreement Budget Revision Request form and a Project Funding Agreement Budget Revision Request form, which are mandatory for Districts that wish to request a budget revision. Both forms can be located on our Guidelines, Policies & Prerequisite Forms page. The new forms require a detailed account of the requested revision and require the signature of the District’s Chief Executive Officer, Superintendent of Schools, and School Building Committee Chair, prior to submittal to the MSBA for consideration. Should the MSBA accept a proposed budget revision, the District may then enter the budget revision into the Propay system and apply for reimbursement as noted on the Budget Revision Request Form. The MSBA is considering developing a separate form for scope and/or schedule variances.

The MSBA has also developed a Cost Estimate Comparison Spreadsheet that records the details of each cost estimate required by the MSBA’s standard design contract (i.e., PSBA baseline, DD, 50% or 60% CD, 90 or 100% CD). This spreadsheet should be updated and submitted with each required design submittal to provide a clear and concise tracking of changes from the baseline budget established in the Project Scope and Budget Agreement through each phase of design development through construction document submittals.

The spreadsheet has been created to provide an ongoing record, identify variances, and document the reasons for any such variances. It allows for:

  • the entry of cost estimate data in both CSI and Uniformat, as applicable to each submission;
  • the entry of cost data for either new construction or an addition/renovation;
  • the entry of cost data based on bid results or a negotiated GMP, which will be utilized as a basis for development of a PFA amendment.

The OPMs shall maintain the Cost Estimate Comparison Spreadsheet for each assigned Project and shall provide updates to the MSBA with each required design submission and upon receipt of bid results or establishment of a GMP.