New York Harbor Exterior - Manhattan

Architecture & Engineering (A&E) is organized into five Studios: Design Consultant Management Studio, Quality Control & Construction Support Studio, In-House Design Studio, Operations Studio, and the Technical Standards and Support Studio, each guided by a Studio Director working together under the leadership of the Departmental Vice President, E. Bruce Barrett. A&E is responsible for the development of scope, design and construction documents for capital improvement projects at existing schools, and for feasibility studies, programming, design and construction documents for new school buildings, additions and lease conversions. A&E also provides ongoing professional services for construction administration during the projects' construction phase.

The SCA Department of Architecture & Engineering will deliver designs for safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools for the children of the City of New York by consistently eliciting the highest standards of quality and performance from all Architecture & Engineering staff and consultants. We are committed to the SCA's goal of building and modernizing public schools in a responsible, cost-effective manner while achieving the highest standards of excellence in safety, quality and integrity.

The SCA's Legal Department provides legal services to all divisions and departments of the SCA. The Department's responsibilities include: ensuring that the SCA is in compliance with its statutory and legislative mandates; managing litigation against the SCA; drafting and negotiating SCA contracts, memoranda of understanding, and other legal documents; site acquisition through negotiated purchase, eminent domain, or leasing; mediating claims and disputes; processing tort claims through the SCA's insurance programs; handling Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests made by the public; advising the Board of Trustees, officers and employees of the SCA and Department of Education (DOE) regarding all legal requirements of the SCA's construction program and business operations; and providing advice and assistance to employees with respect to their obligations under the City's Conflicts of Interest laws.

The Real Estate, Labor Law, Internal Audit Services Departments; and the Procurement Division also report to the Vice President & General Counsel.

The Construction Management Department administers all Capital projects performed in existing public school buildings and the construction of new schools. Construction Management will do so in a safe and efficient manner, working with the school and community to work efficiently, minimize the impact on the educational process while maintaining the highest standards of quality. 

Capital Plan Management plays a key role in developing the strategy which shapes the way that the Department of Education views and prioritizes its constantly evolving facility needs. The division is responsible for developing and implementing a wide variety of mission critical initiatives which provide the basis for funding and resource allocation decisions made by the Department of Education. The division is staffed by a highly diversified team, who bring a unique blend of educational and professional experience to bear on the challenging but vital needs of New York City's schools.

The core Capital Plan Management Unit is responsible for defining and implementing comprehensive, successful and sequential Five Year Capital Plans, which meet the needs of the evolving school system within budgetary constraints. The current Capital Plan (FY2015-2019) has $14.9 billion in funding. The group also oversees the "Resolution A" (Reso A) projects which are school-specific capital improvement or enhancement projects that are funded by individual grants from the Borough Presidents or members of the New York City Council.

Finance and Information Technology is comprised of Fiscal Services and Information Technology

Fiscal Services

  • processes all payments;
  • creates and monitors project budgets for all projects;
  • encumbers or reserves funding for all SCA contractual obligations;
  • reviews for approval employee expense reimbursement requests;
  • prepares year-end financial reports and manages banking relationships;
  • develops, plans, and monitors the SCA's operating budget;
  • updates and maintains Capital Improvement and Capacity Projects data in Primavera Project Management (PPM) and PTS;
  • manages the Owner Controlled Insurance Program and an Operational Insurance Program;
  • monitors the Commitment Plan;
  • manages project and financial data needed for external reporting and produces internal and external reports
  • provides financial reports to OMB which are used to support City bond sales and submits project data to the State Education Department that allows NYC to receive building aid funding.

Information Technology

  • Manages the technology infrastructure which supports business operations: including personal computers, laptops, servers, printers, the internal network which connects them all, telephones, smartphones, blackberrys, and conference room equipment;
  • Provides direct support to end users via the IT Service Desk, onsite office and jobsite support, and Training Classes;
  • Supports application software (purchased such as Oracle, Primavera, Microsoft, and custom-written applications such as ORCMS, PTS, IEH, etc.)
  • Scopes and evaluates system solutions required by departments, including: internally developed applications, solutions delivered by other city agencies, or external cloud computing providers;
  • Develops and implements new applications and systems as needed.

Executive Office

The Executive Office includes the Office of the President and CEO, the Chief of Staff/ Executive Director, the External Affairs Division, the Capital Planning Division, and the Project Controls Division. The Executive Office provides the vision, mission and goals for the School Construction Authority.

External Affairs

The External Affairs Division serves as an intergovernmental arm of the SCA. The External Affairs Division develops and maintains positive relationships between the SCA and elected officials, community boards, community education councils, other public agencies and utilities and the United Federation of Teachers. External Affairs acts as SCA representatives at large public hearings, maintains interagency communications, manages agency correspondence, gathers information for media inquiries and assists in emergency situations.

For a list of External Affairs representatives see our External Affairs page.

The Administration Department is comprised of Administrative Services, Business Development, Contractor Qualification, and Human Resources.

In addition, Administration coordinates the development and issuance of SCA policies and operating guidelines, as well as efforts to recruit new contractors, consultants, suppliers and vendors.

In all of these capacities, Administration is committed to providing the highest level of support and service to other SCA departments.

The Environmental and Regulatory Compliance Department includes the following divisions:

Building Code Compliance

  • Promotes the safety and welfare of the New York City students, staff, and the general public by ensuring compliance with NYC Codes and Zoning regulations.
  • Enhances quality by providing technical support and ongoing training seminars to SCA Construction Management.
  • Carries out the mission of the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding through the highly qualified professional staff of plan examiners and inspectors.
  • Facilitates efficient processing of Buildings Department plan reviews, permits, and sign-offs to achieve timely completion of school projects.

Construction Inspection Division

The Construction Inspection Division (CID) inspects the installation of materials and equipment on SCA projects to verify that the contractors install these systems as per the SCA plans, specifications and relevant codes.

CID is organized into units as follows: Plumbing, Fire Suppression, Boiler/Fuel Burning Inspection Unit; Electrical and Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Unit; Roofing, Masonry and Sheet metal Inspection Unit; and the Civil, Architectural, Window and Door Inspection Unit. CID works closely with Architecture & Engineering (A&E), Construction Management and Building Code Compliance to ensure that the SCA receives a quality product.

Industrial & Environmental Hygiene

Industrial & Environmental Hygiene (IEH) provides all-encompassing management and administration of environmental hygiene inclusive of: asbestos, lead, PCBs, indoor air quality, mold, hazardous materials, underground storage tanks, environmental due diligence for site development acquisitions, potable water, chemical relocation, soil excavation/characterization and disposal. IEH works very closely with Architecture & Engineering (A&E) and Construction Management (CM).

Safety

  • Provides optimum protection to the students, teachers, school personnel and the general public during all new construction and renovation of New York City school buildings.
  • Enforces all applicable safety rules and regulations in a firm, fair and consistent manner.
  • Educates SCA personnel, general contractors and subcontractors regarding City, State, Federal and SCA mandated safety rules and regulations (see the 2009 SCA Safety Manual).
Overview

The SCA's Legal Department provides legal services to all divisions and departments of the SCA. The Department's responsibilities include:

  • Drafting and negotiating SCA contracts and other legal documents
  • Negotiating site acquisitions
  • Advising the Board of Trustees, officers and employees of the SCA and Department of Education (DOE) regarding all legal requirements of the SCA's construction program and business operations
  • Mediating claims and disputes
  • Handling Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests
  • Ensuring that the SCA is in compliance with its statutory and legislative mandates
  • Managing litigation against the SCA
  • Processing tort claims through the SCA's insurance programs
  • Providing advice and assistance to employees with respect to their obligations under the City's Conflicts of Interest laws.
Claims and Disputes

You Must Give the SCA Written Notice

Anyone alleging injury (except wrongful deaths) or property damage as a result of the SCA's negligence or wrongful act must file a written notice of that claim with the SCA within ninety (90) days after the claim arises. The notice must be delivered to the SCA's Corporate Secretary at 30-30 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, New York, 11101. The Corporate Secretary receives such notices on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the SCA.

Any claim related to the design, construction, reconstruction, improvement, rehabilitation, repair, furnishing or equipping of educational facilities must be filed with the SCA's Corporate Secretary within three (3) months after the claim arises. Moreover, an action or proceeding against the SCA must be commenced within one (1) year of the date on which the claim arises.

What You Must Write in the Claim

The notice of each claim against the SCA must set forth in detail:

  1. the amount of the claim
  2. a specific and detailed description of the grounds for the claim, relating the dollar amount claimed to the event purportedly giving rise to the claim and indicating how the dollar amount is determined
  3. the date of the event allegedly underlying the claim.

Contractor's Alternative Dispute Resolution

The SCA established procedures for the fair and equitable resolution of contract disputes without resort to litigation. The SCA developed rules to govern the mediation of these disputes. The rules may be found in the New York Code, Rules and Regulations under Title 21, Part 9603. The most important portions of those rules appear here.

After a notice of claim is filed, the contractor may elect to submit the matter to non-binding mediation by sending a written notice of dispute to the SCA's Corporate Secretary with a copy to the Vice President of Project Management and Operations and one to the Vice President and General Counsel within fifteen (15) working days of the date of filing of the notice of claim. The contractor must attach a copy of the notice of claim to the notice of dispute.

The mediation shall be conducted by a qualified mediator with expertise in the area of the dispute. The mediator shall be selected from a list maintained by the SCA, but the mediator must be approved by both the claimant and the SCA.

The contractor and the SCA may agree that a single mediation shall combine disputes involving more than one claim. The contractor and the SCA shall share equally all costs of the mediation including the mediator's fee.

Mediation sessions are private. All records, reports or other documents considered by the mediator are confidential. There is no stenographic record of the mediation process. The contractor and the SCA agree that the mediator shall not be compelled to divulge confidential materials or to testify in regard to the mediation in any adversary proceeding or judicial forum. They agree to maintain the confidentiality of the mediation and shall not rely on, or introduce as evidence in any arbitral, judicial, or other proceeding any of the following:

  • views expressed or suggestions made by the other party with respect to a possible settlement of the dispute;
  • admissions made by the other party in the course of the mediation proceedings;
  • proposals made or views expressed by the mediator; or
  • the fact that the other party had or had not indicated willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the mediator.

If the mediation does not result in the execution of a settlement agreement between the contractor and the SCA, the mediator may prepare a written advisory opinion if agreed upon during the mediation. A copy of an advisory opinion is delivered to the contractor and to the SCA's Corporate Secretary. The advisory opinion is a confidential document.

Freedom of Information Requests

Under the laws of the State of New York, you may request copies of various records created by the SCA. Like other government agencies, the SCA developed rules for a prompt response to such requests. They may be found in the New York Code, Rules and Regulations under Title 21, Part 9607. The most important portions of those rules appear here.

The Responsible Officials

The SCA's Record Access Officer, Kim Riedlinger, who is also the Corporate Secretary, maintains a current list, by subject matter, of all records, and will make the list available for public inspection and copying in accordance with these rules. Her telephone number is (718) 472-8035.

The Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Ross J. Holden, Esq., receives and reviews all appeals. His telephone number is (718) 472-8220.

The SCA maintains offices for both officials at the main office, identified in the next section.

Making a Request

You must first submit a request to inspect and/or copy records of the SCA to the Records Access Officer at the main office of the SCA:

30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101.

Each request must be made in writing and reasonably describe the records sought. Whenever possible, the person requesting the records should supply as much descriptive information as possible, including dates, titles, authors, and recipients of the documents. The SCA makes its records available for inspection and/or copying during regular business hours at the location or locations within the SCA's facilities designated by the records manager. Such records may not be removed from the office. Arrangements may be made for obtaining copies of such records.

Responses to a Request

Within five (5) business days after receipt of a written request for records and to the extent permitted by law, the SCA shall provide access to the records sought. However, if more than five (5) days are required to respond to a request, the SCA will acknowledge receipt of the request within five (5) business days after the request is received. The acknowledgement will provide an estimate for the date by which a reply will be made.

Under certain circumstances, the laws of the State of New York prohibit the SCA from disclosing records. Disclosure may constitute an impermissible invasion of privacy. Other exceptions cover public bidding matters, trade secrets, law enforcement matters, and the like. In the event a record may not be revealed, the SCA will issue a written denial of access setting forth the reasons for that determination.

If the SCA cannot locate the requested records, the records manager shall certify that the SCA is not the custodian or that the SCA is the custodian, but that the records cannot be found after diligent search.

Upon request, the records manager shall certify that the document provided is an exact copy of the document on file.

Appealing an Adverse Decision

Any person or entity denied access to any record may, within thirty (30) days of such denial, appeal the denial in writing to the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the SCA at:

30-30 Thomson Avenue, 4th Floor 
Long Island City, New York 11101.

The time for deciding an appeal begins upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:

  • The date of the request for records; 
  • A description of the records that were denied; and 
  • The name and the return address of the applicant. 

The Executive Vice President and General Counsel shall review the matter and may affirm, modify or reverse the denial.

Fees for Records and Services

It is the policy of the SCA to provide routine information to permit public inspection of records without charge. Fees may be charged:

  • For reproduction, duplication, or copying of records; and 
  • Where a fee is otherwise prescribed by law.

Records will be photocopied or electronically copied by the SCA where appropriate. The person requesting a copy will be charged a fee of twenty-five (25¢) cents per page for hard copies not exceeding 9 x 14 inches or the actual cost of reproducing such records if larger copies are required. If it is not practicable for the SCA to photocopy any such record, the record will be copied commercially and the person requesting the copy will be charged a fee equal to the cost of such commercial reproduction.

The fee for a computer printout is fifty (50¢) cents per page.

The fee for the transcription of any minutes or other untyped information shall be computed at the rate of five ($5.00) dollars per hour; or at the cost to the SCA.

Any fee charged in relation to these services must be paid by the person making the request, by check, money order or cash, in advance of the delivery of any record.

Creation of Records in Response to a Public Request

The SCA will not create any record by compiling selected items from other records, nor will it create records to provide the requesting party with data such as ratios, proportions, percentages, frequency distributions, trends, correlations or comparisons.

Public Authorities Accountability Act & Financial Statements
WICKS Law

​The Wicks Law, a construction mandate dating back to 1912, was put into place to promote competition and protect workers' rights. Named for Senator Arthur Wicks who sponsored a bill to expand the law in 1946, the Wicks law requires that, under General Municipal Law §101, state and local government construction projects costing more than $3 million in New York City are subject to bidding separate plumbing, HVAC and electrical contracts for each project undertaken.

Part of the SCA's enabling legislation, Public Authorities Law §1735 to be exact, excludes it from being subject to the Wicks Law. However, there are other requirements of the legislation to which the SCA must adhere. All subcontractors, whether "Wicks" or "Non-Wicks", must be prequalified by the SCA's Contractor Qualification Unit. A "Wicks" subcontractor is defined as a firm/company performing construction work in the Plumbing and Gas Fitting, HVAC, or Electrical trades, licensed to do business in the City of New York in that trade. The bidder of a particular contract is required to submit with its bid, the names of its proposed "Wicks" subcontractors and the estimated dollar value of the work to be performed by each subcontractor, for those Wicks trades that the SCA identifies in the Invitation to Bid letter, as involved in the referenced work. The bidder must propose prequalified "Wicks" subcontractors for those trades that are estimated to exceed $1 million in value and may propose "Non-Wicks" subcontractors for work that is less than $1 million.

Office of Inspector General

The mission of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is to protect the SCA from victimization by racketeering, fraudulent schemes, wasteful practices and all manner of crimes perpetrated by those doing business with, as well as those employed by the SCA.

Its goals are to reduce corruption and fraud, improve the SCA's systems and practices, and support civil suits for the recovery of monies that have been lost.

In addition, the Inspector General will serve as an ombudsman and advocate for any contractor that has been unfairly or improperly restricted or prevented from competing for SCA work due to any illegal conduct.

This effort should serve the objective of attracting greater private sector participation in the SCA's construction programs.

To Contact the Office of the Inspector General

In Writing:

Office of the Inspector General
NYC School Construction Authority
188 West 230th Street 
Bronx, NY 10463

By Calling:

Office of Inspector General (718) 901-6600 (24 hrs)

Email:

Office of Inspector General