Section 235.056, Florida Statutes 2001
235.056 Lease, rental, and lease-purchase of educational facilities and sites.--
(1) A board, including the Board of Regents, may lease any land, facilities, or educational plants owned by it to any person or entity for such term, for such rent, and upon such terms and conditions as the board determines to be in its best interests; any such lease may provide for the optional or binding purchase of the land, facilities, or educational plants by the lessee upon such terms and conditions as the board determines are in its best interests. A determination that any such land, facility, or educational plant so leased is unnecessary for educational purposes is not a prerequisite to the leasing or lease-purchase of such land, facility, or educational plant. Prior to entering into or executing any such lease, a board shall consider approval of the lease or lease-purchase agreement at a public meeting, at which a copy of the proposed agreement in its final form shall be available for inspection and review by the public, after due notice as required by law.
(2)(a) A board may rent or lease educational facilities and sites as defined in s. 235.011. Educational facilities and sites rented or leased for 1 year or less shall be funded through the operations budget or funds derived from millage proceeds pursuant to s. 236.25(2). A lease contract for 1 year or less, when extended or renewed beyond a year, becomes a multiple-year lease. Operational funds or funds derived from millage proceeds pursuant to s. 236.25(2) may be authorized to be expended for multiple-year leases. All leased facilities and sites must be inspected prior to occupancy by the board's Uniform Building Code inspector, who shall report to the department.
1. Beginning July 1, 1995, all newly leased spaces must be inspected and brought into compliance with the state minimum building code pursuant to chapter 553, and the life safety codes pursuant to chapter 633, prior to occupancy, using the board's operations budget or funds derived from millage proceeds pursuant to s. 236.25(2). As an alternative, the board may elect to comply with the State Uniform Building Code for Public Educational Facilities Construction instead of the state minimum building code or the life safety code, or both.
2. Plans for renovation or remodeling of leased space shall conform to state minimum building and life safety codes for educational occupancies, or other occupancies as appropriate, as required in chapters 553 and 633, prior to occupancy. As an alternative, the board may elect to comply with the State Uniform Building Code for Public Educational Facilities Construction instead of the state minimum building code or the life safety code, or both.
3. All leased facilities must be inspected annually for firesafety deficiencies in accordance with the applicable code and have corrections made in accordance with s. 235.06. Operational funds or funds derived from millage proceeds pursuant to s. 236.25(2) may be used to correct deficiencies in leased space.
4. When the board declares that a public emergency exists, it may take up to 30 days to bring the leased facility into compliance with the requirements of Commissioner of Education rules.
(b) A board is authorized to lease-purchase educational facilities and sites as defined in s. 235.011. The lease-purchase of educational facilities and sites shall be as required by s. 235.26, be advertised for and receive competitive proposals and be awarded to the best proposer, and be funded using current or other funds specifically authorized by law to be used for such purpose.
1. A district school board, by itself, or through a direct-support organization formed pursuant to s. 237.40 or nonprofit educational organization or a consortium of district school boards, may, in developing a lease-purchase of educational facilities and sites provide for separately advertising for and receiving competitive bids or proposals on the construction of facilities and the selection of financing to provide the lowest cost funding available, so long as the board determines that such process would best serve the public interest and the pledged revenues are limited to those authorized in s. 236.25(2)(e).
2. All activities and information, including lists of individual participants, associated with agreements made pursuant to this section shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 119 and s. 286.011.
(c)1. The term of any lease-purchase agreement, including the initial term and any subsequent renewals, shall not exceed the useful life of the educational facilities and sites for which the agreement is made, or 30 years, whichever is less.
2. The initial term or any renewal term of any lease-purchase agreement shall expire on June 30 of each fiscal year, but may be automatically renewed annually, subject to a board making sufficient annual appropriations therefor. Under no circumstances shall the failure of a board to renew a lease-purchase agreement constitute a default or require payment of any penalty, nor in any way limit the right of a board to purchase or utilize educational facilities and sites similar in function to the educational facilities and sites which are the subject of the said lease-purchase agreement. Educational facilities and sites being acquired pursuant to a lease-purchase agreement shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation.
3. No lease-purchase agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall constitute a debt, liability, or obligation of the state or a board or shall be a pledge of the faith and credit of the state or a board.
4. Any lease-purchase agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection shall stipulate an annual rate which may consist of a principal component and an interest component, provided that the maximum interest rate of any interest component payable under any such lease-purchase agreement, or any participation or certificated portion thereof, shall be calculated in accordance with and be governed by the provisions of s. 215.84.
(3)(a) A board may rent or lease existing buildings, or space within existing buildings, originally constructed or used for purposes other than education, for conversion to use as educational facilities. Such buildings rented or leased for 1 year or less shall be funded through the operations budget or funds derived from millage pursuant to s. 236.25(2). A rental agreement or lease contract for 1 year or less, when extended or renewed beyond a year, becomes a multiple-year rental or lease. Operational funds or funds derived from millage proceeds pursuant to s. 236.25(2) may be authorized to be expended for multiple-year rentals or leases. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, if a building was constructed in conformance with all applicable building and life safety codes, it shall be deemed to meet the requirements for use and occupancy as an educational facility subject only to the provisions of this subsection.
(b) Prior to occupying a rented or a leased existing building, or space within an existing building, pursuant to this subsection, a school board shall, in a public meeting, adopt a resolution certifying that the following circumstances apply to the building proposed for occupancy:
1. Growth among the school-age population in the school district has created a need for new educational facilities in a neighborhood where there is little or no vacant land.
2. There exists a supply of vacant space in existing buildings that meet state minimum building and life safety codes.
3. Acquisition and conversion to use as educational facilities of an existing building or buildings is a cost-saving means of providing the needed classroom space as determined by the difference between the cost of new construction, including land acquisition and preparation and, if applicable, demolition of existing structures, and the cost of acquisition through rental or lease and conversion of an existing building or buildings.
4. The building has been examined for suitability, safety, and conformance with state minimum building and life safety codes. The building examination shall consist, at a minimum, of a review of existing documents, building site reconnaissance, and analysis of the building conducted by, or under the responsible charge of, a licensed structural engineer.
5. A certificate of evaluation has been issued by an appropriately licensed design professional which states that, based on available documents, building site reconnaissance, current knowledge, and design judgment in the professional's opinion, the building meets the requirements of state minimum building and life safety codes, provides safe egress of occupants from the building, provides adequate firesafety, and does not pose a substantial threat to life to persons who would occupy the building for classroom use.
6. The plans for conversion of the building were prepared by an appropriate design professional licensed in this state, and the work of conversion was performed by contractors licensed in this state.
7. The conversion of the building was observed by an appropriate design professional licensed in this state.
8. The building has been reviewed, inspected, and granted a certificate of occupancy by the local building department.
9. All ceilings, light fixtures, ducts, and registers within the area to be occupied for classroom purposes were constructed or have been reconstructed to meet state minimum requirements.
History.--ss. 10, 52, ch. 81-223; s. 2, ch. 83-224; s. 1, ch. 84-349; ss. 26, 27, ch. 85-116; ss. 1, 4, ch. 86-1; s. 35, ch. 86-145; s. 5, ch. 86-172; s. 3, ch. 87-284; s. 1, ch. 88-4; s. 4, ch. 89-226; s. 14, ch. 89-278; s. 11, ch. 90-172; s. 53, ch. 90-288; s. 2, ch. 93-241; ss. 7, 35, ch. 95-269; s. 141, ch. 97-190; s. 25, ch. 97-384; s. 1, ch. 98-264; s. 1, ch. 99-329; s. 31, ch. 2000-158.