When HUNT turns the corner into the new calendar year each of our disciplines naturally reflects on the year past and the one ahead, “How have we serviced our partners, and what should we bolster in the coming year?”
One topic that gained additional traction in 2016 was accessing funding and identifying “aid-able” projects and components. We find ourselves more deeply immersed in this process than ever before. Why? The efforts primarily stem from the ongoing budgetary challenges facing our K-12 district partners and the competitve atmosphere promoted by Albany in regards to Consolidated Funding Agreements (CFA) agreements. Another ingredient in this regard is the change in leadership at New York State Education Department (NYSED) – i.e. the departure of our longtime colleague, NYSED Chief Carl Thurnau.
With Carl’s own words ringing in our ears that districts should “maximize the reimbursement and gather extensive data to form a comprehensive long-range plan that effectively helps make decisions on capital improvements”, our teams have worked closely with the following CSD’s to forge gymnasiums, Pre-K spaces, transportation facilities, and STEM suites: Homer, Elmira Heights, Chittenango, and Genesee Valley (respectively).
HUNT’s project managers are familiar with the nomenclature, calculations, and strategies that can help avoid pitfalls and missteps in attaining maximum aid-ability for non-instructional spaces. We have the relationships with SED to advocate for the interests of the district. Bus storage and maintenance areas in particular can be challenging to obtain SED concurrence. In the case of CFA’s, our planning and site/civil professionals have put their shoulder-to-wheel on behalf of municipal partners as they sift through a slew of popular funding and grant programs, including the following: Empire State Development (ESD); NYSERDA: Housing and Community Relations (HCR); NYS DOS; NYSCA; OPRHP; NYS Ag./Markets; NYS Environment Facilities Corp.; and, a host of others.