[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 131 (Wednesday, July 9, 2003)]
[Pages 40996-40997]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-17343]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

Education Facilities Replacement Construction Priority List as of 
FY 2003

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: As required by statute, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA or 
Bureau) is publishing the FY 2003 Education Facilities Replacement 
Construction Priority List in the Federal Register. The current 
priority list, last published in the Federal Register on January 9, 
2001, is revised by the addition of newly prioritized schools, which 
were evaluated and ranked during the 2001 replacement school 
application process. The Bureau will use this list to determine the 
order in which Congressional appropriations are requested to fund 
education facilities replacement construction projects. Construction 
funding is not yet available for all projects on the list.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions regarding the Education 
Facilities Replacement Construction Priority List may be submitted to 
the attention of Andrew Acoya, AIA, Office of Facilities Management and 
Construction, P.O. Box 1248, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103, (505) 346-
6508, Fax (505) 346-6542.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Publication of the Education Facilities 
Replacement Construction Priority List (Priority List) in the Federal 
Register is required by 25 U.S.C. 2005(d) at the time any budget 
request for school

[[Page 40997]]

construction is presented. In 2001, the Bureau began preparations for 
developing a new Priority List, including the acceptance of 
applications from Tribes and School Boards who wished to have schools 
placed on the Priority List.
    Schools placed on the previously published ``Education Facilities 
Construction Priority List as of FY 2000, With Additions,'' published 
in the Federal Register on January 9, 2001 (66 FR 1689) that were not 
yet fully funded for construction (project numbers 18 through 20), did 
not have to submit applications for ranking on the new Priority List 
and are retained, in order, at the top of the FY 2003 Priority List as 
projects numbers 1 through 3. Education Facilities Construction 
projects on the Priority List will be funded for construction in the 
order in which they are ranked, as appropriations become available, 
unless a school is not ready for the next phase of funding. In 
accordance with Congressional directives, the projects do not provide 
for new school starts nor grade level expansions. The process does not 
provide for charter schools nor satellite extensions.
    The Conference Report for the FY 1992 Interior Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act, H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 102-256, at 46 (1991), 
indicated that Congress wanted the Department to revise the priority 
ranking process for new school construction. The Bureau revised the 
process in March 1999 and again in May 2001, and developed draft 
revised instructions and criteria, complying with the 1991 Conference 
Report requirements that the BIA should emphasize tribal consultation 
and improve the objectivity of the ranking process, provide continuity 
to the priority ranking list, and provide procedures for handling 
emergency needs.
    The Committee on Appropriations also recommended that the BIA 
establish a demonstration project to allow tribes with schools on the 
replacement list to apply for Federal funding with the guarantee of a 
cost share from the tribe, S. Rep. No. 106-99, at 54 (1999). Congress 
further stated that tribes may share the cost of construction of their 
school, identify non-Bureau funding to match or supplement Bureau 
funding, or pay future operations costs in exchange for the full 
funding of school construction costs earlier than they might hope to 
receive it under the Priority List. Accordingly, in the ranking process 
for the FY 2003 Priority List, applicants were provided an opportunity 
to indicate a commitment to cost share; however, none of the top ranked 
schools offered to do so.
    The Bureau published in the Federal Register, on April 18, 2001 (66 
FR 19979), a Notice of tribal consultation meeting May 1 through May 3, 
2001, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, requesting comments on the draft 
revised instructions and criteria, entitled ``Instructions and 
Application for Replacement School Construction, 2001.'' The new 
instructions governed the priority ranking process for construction of 
replacement education facilities and the criteria used in ranking 
applications. In addition to fully replacing buildings and support 
structures at an educational facility, a new category, partial 
replacement construction, was included in the 2001 application process 
in response to earlier consultation comments. Under the new category, 
schools could submit partial replacement construction requests for 
replacement of a specific building or buildings instead of full 
facilities replacement, or the schools could request construction of 
components (e.g., libraries, gymnasiums, cafeterias) that do not 
currently exist at educational facilities but are nonetheless required 
to meet an approved educational accreditation program. After the Bureau 
completes further study and evaluation, a final determination will be 
made whether facilities projects added to the Priority List will be 
fully or partially replaced. Bureau requests for future funding of 
education facilities construction projects will not depend entirely on 
ranking order, but will also consider how full or partial replacement 
projects fit the availability of appropriations, and readiness for the 
next phase of funding.
    Comments were also received relating to administrative requirements 
and responsibilities; definitions of ranking criteria; evaluation of 
applications; and cost-sharing. The comments were reviewed and 
incorporated into the final instructions and criteria as appropriate by 
a team consisting of tribal representatives and BIA employees from the 
Office of Indian Education Programs and the Office of Facilities 
Management and Construction. The Bureau proceeded with using the final 
revised application instructions and criteria on June 8, 2001.
    Copies of the final revised instructions and ranking criteria with 
accompanying documents were sent to all BIA schools and schools that 
receive BIA funds under contract or grant, [Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance Program Number: 15.062 ``Replacement and Repair of Indian 
Schools''] and the Bureau held tribal consultation meetings in July and 
August 2001 on the revised process. BIA's Office of Indian Education 
Programs Education Line Officers offered training to applicants at all 
schools under their administrative jurisdiction on how to complete 
applications using the revised instructions and ranking criteria. 
Tribes and BIA-funded school boards received advance, written notice of 
training session dates, times, and locations for tribes and schools 
under their respective jurisdictions. The Bureau published another 
Notice in the Federal Register on June 11, 2001 (66 FR 31248), calling 
for applications based on the revised instructions and ranking 
criteria. The Bureau accepted applications beginning August 1, 2001, 
and used the criteria in the revised instructions to review and 
evaluate all applications that were received on or before the 
application deadline. The application deadline was extended to October 
22, 2001, by a notice published in the Federal Register on August 20, 
2001 (66 FR 43591), in response to requests of tribal organizations and 
school boards. These applications were evaluated and ranked according 
to the revised criteria stated in the application and, from the list of 
ranked schools, the first nine schools were placed on the FY 2003 
Education Facilities Replacement Construction Priority List.
    This notice is published under authority delegated by the Secretary 
of the Interior to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the 
Departmental Manual at 209 DM 8.

Education Facilities Replacement Construction Priority List as of FY 

1. Turtle Mountain High School
2. Mescalero Apache School
3. Enemy Swim Day School
5. Navajo Preparatory School
6. Wingate High School
7. Pueblo Pintado Community School
8. Bread Springs Day School
9. Ojo Encino Day School
10. Chemawa Indian School
11. Beclabito Day School
12. Leupp School

Aurene Martin,
Acting Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 03-17343 Filed 7-8-03; 8:45 am]