The School Construction Authority (SCA) was established by the New York State Legislature in December 1988 to build new public schools and manage the design, construction and renovation of capital projects in New York City's more than 1,200 public school buildings, half of which were constructed prior to 1949.
Following changes in school governance law in October of 2002, management of the Department of Education's Capital Program was consolidated under one agency, the SCA, and the Mayor became responsible for appointing the three SCA Trustees.
The SCA is solely accountable for planning, real estate, and budgeting, as well as the scoping, design and construction of new schools, additions and capital improvements to existing schools. All staff from other divisions of the Department of Education previously involved in capital projects were relocated at the SCA, and functions that were once divided between different organizations were integrated.
Placement of sole responsibility for the Capital Plan with the SCA offers several key benefits:
- Improved management of the construction process
- Reduced school construction costs as a result of simplified design standards (see Design Standards).
- Increased competition among contractors
- Streamlined change order process
- Online contractor prequalification
- Enhanced coordination between the public and private sectors
As always, the SCA’s primary goal is to ensure that NYC public school children have the facilities necessary to prepare them for the 21st century and beyond
The SCA keeps moving forward, constantly innovating to ensure that we design and build schools that meet the current needs of our students and teachers. In all areas, our staff works to ensure the consistent high quality of work and that public dollars are spent wisely. And our performance keeps improving. Since September 2008, we opened 65 new schools providing more than 43,000 seats. At the same time, over 1,000 capital improvement program projects were completed across the city.
In September 2011, 8 more new schools were open to students adding 3,684 new seats.