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Head Start Program- Major Renovation and New Construction. Getting Started.

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Head Start Facility expansion -Where do we start?

As a recipient of the head start program, you may be approaching a point

where you are running out of space, or your existing location(s) have

become obsolete. Options to be considered are:

• Expand, renovate, or convert your existing facility

• Find a new place in an existing building and renovate or modify it if


• New construction

• Availability of funding

So, the next question we ask is, where do I start?

The obvious first place to begin is to make sure the community assessment

is up-to-date and reflects the current and forward-looking needs of the


Once it is clear how much space will be needed to handle present and future

growth, it is time to evaluate the available options for upgrading your facility


Even though it may make the most sense to stay in an existing location,

OHS wants to know the recipient has investigated and considered alternative

sites if you are seeking federal funding. When looking at alternative

locations, typically, we start thinking of realtors who can present potential

areas. Did you know this is also the best time to bring on an experienced

and knowledgeable consultant with real estate development, construction,

and specifically, OHS regulations and requirements.

Numerous variables come into play in the entire process, from site location

to funding.


• Existing buildings

- Is there too much-deferred maintenance?

- Is annual maintenance costly?

- Is there too much-deferred maintenance?

- Does the existing zoning allow for a childcare program?

- Will, it meet all licensing and fire marshal requirements?

- Location

• New construction

- Is it a complex site?

- Zoning

- Large enough for potential expansion

- Access

- Availability of utilities

- Location

- Availability of Contractor

• Funding (when using federal funds)

- 1303 sub-part E applications

- Appraisals

- Design (plans and specifications)

- SF-429 forms

- Environmental Site Assessments Phase 1

- Budgeting

- Deviations

- Leases

- Subordination agreements

- Procurement and contracting

Every time a 1303 application is submitted and returned, it delays the

approval process significantly. This can add months to the NOA decision.

The top three reasons for returns are:

1. Environmental Site Assessments phase 1 - Recognized environmental

conditions found or other issues

2. Plans and specifications not adequate or improperly done

3. Cost estimates are not sufficiently done

With a Head Start Facility Consultant specializing in real estate, construction,

and federal funding, the likelihood of getting the right property and first-time

approval of the 1303 application is greatly enhanced.

(As a Facility Consultant for the Head Start Program, Scott Samborski brings extensive Head
Start experience and construction background to assist recipients in navigating all aspects
of facilities. His invaluable experience from consulting and training OHS federal staff to
expediting funding requests and compliance with all federal regulations is key to getting it
right the first time.) Scott can be reached at 970-379-0315 or
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