Moratorium Nears for K-12 Construction Aid

Pennsylvania’s construction industry could take as much as a 10-figure hit annually if a state reimbursement program aimed at helping school districts with building projects is eliminated, according to a trade association projection.

Beginning Oct. 1, a moratorium will take effect on new school construction projects that enter Pennsylvania’s so-called PlanCon program, or “Planning and Construction Workbook.”

State officials will decide whether the extensive review process needs to be revamped or removed from the budget.

The state Department of Education receives about $300 million per year for the PlanCon reimbursement program. Those funds help leverage about $1.5 billion annually in school projects, said Chad Harvey, board secretary for Mid Atlantic BX, an association that tracks commercial construction.

“There is not a lot of upside,” said Harvey, who has concerns that the review alone could have a major short-term impact on construction. “This (reimbursement) allows owners to leverage funds and create projects that otherwise would not exist.”

Click here to read the full article by Jason Scott published in the Central Penn Business Journal (August 31, 2012)

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