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The SCA is committed to delivering designs for safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools by consistently eliciting the highest standards of quality and performance from staff and consultants alike.

Design services for capital projects funded by the Department of Education's Five-Year Capital Plan are provided by both In-House Architects and Engineers, and by consultant design firms. These professional services are provided during scope, design and construction. Design services are managed by the SCA's Architecture & Engineering Department.

All capital projects must adhere to available technical standards developed by the SCA to ensure quality, cost effectiveness, constructability and sustainability. These standards include: Design Requirements, Standard Specifications, Standard Details and Room Planning Standards. Compliance with the NYC Green Schools Guide ensures that the stringent sustainability goals of NYC Local Law 86/05 are met. A&E Procedural Guidelines lay out procedures and protocols for the execution of capital projects. Standards Bulletins advise designers of new and revised technical standards.

If you are a design consultant and would like to sign up to be on a mailing list to receive notification regarding updates to the SCA Design Standards, click here.

Capital projects generally fall into three categories:

  • Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
  • Capacity (or Line)
  • Resolution A and CTF (Capital Task Force)

CIP Projects

CIP projects maintain and upgrade existing school facilities. They are generally smaller than line projects and involve work such as interior/exterior building upgrades, roof and boiler replacements, electrical work, security systems, room conversions and transportable classrooms. Their estimated construction value typically ranges from $1 million to $10 million.

Resolution A and CTF Projects

Resolution "A" (Reso "A") projects are school specific capital improvement or enhancement projects that are funded through individual grants which are allocated by the Borough Presidents or members of the New York City Council. These projects are very important to the school community because they provide enhancements and upgrades to existing facilities. The most common Reso "A" projects are upgrades to a school's technology, auditorium, playground, science Lab and other specialty classrooms. The SCA has also been able to utilize Reso "A" funding to complete some unique and innovative projects such as a Challenger Space Center, an Edible Schoolyard (farm), planetarium upgrade and Green roofs. The SCA is grateful to our elected officials for entrusting us with this capital funding that has led to numerous enhancements in schools throughout the City.

Capital Task Force (CTF) projects are, as a rule, small capital projects typically built by Division of School Facilities (DSF) Skilled Trades or Job Order Contract (JOC) contractors.

Requirements for Design Consultants:

  • To be eligible for a design assignment, a consultant firm must have a Requirements Contract with the SCA. To secure a contract, the firm must respond to an RFP for design services that are appropriate for the firm. If selected through the SCA's RFP selection process, a firm must be pre-qualified prior to being awarded a contract.
  • To begin the prequalification process, please go to the Vendor Access System and fill out the online application. To propose for a contract, a firm must have the requisite professional qualifications and experience to support the specific type of design work needed.

Firms that are interested in receiving an RFP for design work should email an expression of their interest, along with information about their work, to the Architecture & Engineering Department at or to any of the A&E senior staff

The SCA's goal for 20% MWLBE (Minority/Woman-Owned/Locally-Based Enterprises) participation is one factor in the RFP selection process for Design Requirements Contracts.

Requirements for Design Sub-consultants

Sub-consultants do not hold contracts with the SCA, but rather with the "prime" contracted consultants. Sub-consultants, unless their services will be a one-time specialty service to the prime, must also be pre-qualified with the SCA. Acting as a sub-consultant on SCA projects is a good way for the firm to get to know the SCA, and vice-versa, and so may facilitate winning a prime contract in the future.

Types of Design Requirements Contracts

Design Requirements Contract types include:

  • Capacity Project services
  • CIP A/E services
  • CIP MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) services
  • Landscape Design services

There are also a variety of specialty and testing services. Smaller projects such as Resolution A and CTF are typically assigned to firms with CIP or Landscape Contracts.