Every Child a Graduate. Every Graduate Prepared.

ALSDE: Architect - FAQs

Question:   1. How many schools are in Alabama?

Answer:   Public Schools (TOTAL)          1,526
  • Elementary  921
  • Middle  195
  • Junior High  395
  • Senior High  470
  • Career/Technical Centers  72
*NOTE: A school with multiple grade levels may be represented in more than one category. For example, a school with Grades K-12 contains elementary, junior high, and high school levels and would be counted in each school category. Therefore, the breakdown totals of school categories are greater than the total number of public schools within Alabama.

Question:   2. What are the ages of school buildings in Alabama?

Answer:   Buildings by Construction Dates:
  • Buildings built before 1900:                   29
  • Buildings built between 1900 and 1910:  11
  • Buildings built between 1910 and 1920:  38
  • Buildings built between 1920 and 1930:  203
  • Buildings built between 1930 and 1940:  276
  • Buildings built between 1940 and 1950:  340
  • Buildings built between 1950 and 1960:  707
  • Buildings built between 1960 and 1970:  1,161
  • Buildings built between 1970 and 1980:  1,031
  • Buildings built between 1980 and 1990:  596
  • Buildings built between 1990 and 2000:  387

Question:   3. How many new schools have been built since 1999?

Answer:   New Schools Completed October 1998 through October 2006
Primary -            3
Elementary -     70
Intermediate -    6
Middle -           28
Junior High -      4
High -              43

Total -            154

Question:   4. What is the cost of new school construction?

Answer:   The median building costs, exclusive of site purchase, is approximately $150.00 per square foot. This costs includes construction, equipment and furnishings, fees and site improvements.

Question:   5. In designing a classroom, what is a good square foot per student figure to use?

Answer:   27-30 square feet for first through twelfth grades and 45 for kindergarten.

Question:   6. Is local school construction approved by the state?

Answer:   Plans for new buildings, additions and major renovations, regardless of type funding, must be approved by the State Department of Education and the Alabama Building Commission.

Question:   7. When is the Five Year Capital Plan due from individual school systems?

Answer:   This Plan, along with a current Facilities Assessment, is due on September 15. Public School Funds (PSF) cannot be released until the Capital Plan has been approved.

Question:   8. What Standard Documents are used for locally funded projects?

Answer:   The current edition of the Alabama Building Commission (ABC) uniform documents are used for locally funded projects. These documents can be accessed at www.bc.state.al.us. There are no State Department of Education (SDE) forms.

Question:   9. How many instructional portables remain in use statewide?

Answer:   In March 1999, there were 3,413 portables being utilized for instructional purposes. At the end of September 2006, approximately 1328 portables remained in use.

Question:   10. Where can used portables be purchased?

Answer:   Portables are owned by local boards of education and not the State of Alabama. Local boards should be contacted as to availability.

Question:   11. I am a subcontractor and would like to bid on construction projects. How can I find out where projects are being built?

Answer:   For projects over $50,000, local boards of education are required to advertise three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of local circulation. Plans and specifications are also sent to various plan services throughout the State. Construction projects for local boards are not bid at the state level nor does the Department of Education maintain a log of projects being bid.

Question:   12. Will there be another leveraging bond issue?

Answer:   There should be an opportunity each year to leverage Public School Funds (PSF) to generate funds for capital improvements. Only through an act of the legislature would this provision be rescinded.

Question:   13. Are there any restrictions on the use of Leverage Funds?

Answer:   The Act that provides for the leveraging of the PSF requires that the first priority of the usage of funds must be for the elimination of portable and substandard classrooms.

Question:   14. What agency do I contact to find dollar balances on projects that have been allotted funds and assigned a Public School and College Authority (PSCA) number?

Answer:   The ABC administers the ongoing projects for the PSCA and maintains a database of expended and unexpended funds. Only the allotment of funds for specific projects are handled by the SDE.

Question:   15. Now that systems have completed their assessment of all facilities, what further actions are required?

Answer:   Systems should continuously update their assessments and databases as conditions change or are addressed. The assessment must remain current.

Question:   16. How can information regarding the Alabama School Plant Management Association (ASPMA) be obtained?

Answer:   Interested parties should contact the Facilities Section of the SDE at 334-242-9719 or access the website at www.aspma.net.