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Each school district that desires to lease a project for a grade level maintained by it, shall submit through its governing board an application therefor to the board in the form and number of copies that the board may prescribe. Immediately upon receipt of an application in the prescribed form accompanied by the required estimate of cost, a copy thereof shall be transmitted by the board to the Director of General Services.

Each copy of the application shall be accompanied by a statement of the estimated cost of the project certified by an architect or structural engineer, and by layout plans showing the entire construction project.

Before the board approves an application for a construction project, it shall establish cost standards for all new construction included therein. The cost standards shall not exceed typical comparable new construction by school districts in the same area, or if there has been no new construction by school districts in the area, the cost standards shall not exceed the reasonable current cost of similar construction in the area. The board shall determine such typical current costs or such reasonable current costs. In applying cost standards the board shall take into account the size and type of the construction proposed and may make any deviations that in its judgment are justified. When a standard has been set by the board to cover any individual apportionment, no project shall be approved by the board in excess of the standard, unless the board shall find that in view of a subsequent increase in building costs an adjustment is warranted. No contract shall be let for a construction project which has been approved by the board if the cost exceeds the construction cost standards fixed by the board under this section for the new construction.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 277, Sec. 2. Operative January 1, 1998.)