Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a job?

Job announcements will be posted through various outlets including hiring fairs, the 21st Century School Buildings Plan website, local media, and through the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

Baltimore City residents can visit Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) for early job notifications and pre-screening.

All other applicants can find advertised job opportunities on the 21st Century School Buildings website, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), and through local media.

Interested persons will be directed to construction firms who will make the final hiring decisions. If hired, applicants will be directed to Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) to undergo Baltimore City Public Schools background check process. Results of background check will be provided to applicants and City Schools. (See Baltimore City Public School’s selection criteria below.) Construction management firms will receive notification of results for final hiring decisions.

A note for students: Students enrolled in Career and Technology Education Pathways (CTE) participate in work-based learning experiences during high school. If you are interested in finding out about working on the 21st Century School Buildings Plan, speak with your CTE teachers, school counselor, or school leader.

Is there a selection criteria?

Every employer will identify skills required in their job announcements.

Baltimore City Public Schools also requires individuals who work in schools AND on school sites to meet State of Maryland law and Maryland State Department of Education guidance. All applicants must undergo a background check and fingerprinting. Results will indicate suitability for working on projects.

For those with prior convictions, the following guidelines apply:

CAN work on the 21st Century School Building projects:

Individuals with the following non-violent misdemeanor offense convictions (as defined by Baltimore City Public Schools Background Screening Criteria for Background Investigations) will be eligible for hire by employers for 21st Century School construction projects:

  • burglary/theft
  • breaking entering
  • house breaking
  • unlawful entry
  • possession of a controlled and dangerous substance/paraphernalia

Individuals with a Probation Before Judgement (PBJ) ruling (as defined by Baltimore City Public Schools Background Screening Criteria for Background Investigations) will be eligible for hire by employers for 21st Century School construction projects.

CANNOT work in any capacity for the Baltimore City Public School System including 21st Century School Building projects as per the existing guidelines:

Individuals with the following violent misdemeanor offenses (as defined by Baltimore City Public Schools Background Screening Criteria for Background Investigations) will not be eligible for hire by employers for 21st Century School construction projects.

  • battery
  • assault in the second degree

Individuals convicted of any of the following twenty-one (21) crimes of violence (as defined by Maryland law) are permanently disqualified from working in any capacity for Baltimore City Public Schools including:

  1. Abduction
  2. Arson – 1st degree
  3. Kidnapping
  4. Manslaughter, except involuntary manslaughter
  5. Mayhem
  6. Maiming, as previously proscribed under Article 27-385 and 386 of the Code
  7. Murder
  8. Rape
  9. Robbery under 3-402 or 3-403 of this article
  10. Carjacking
  11. Armed Carjacking
  12. Sexual offense in the first degree
  13. Sexual offense in the second degree
  14. Use of a handgun in the commission of a felony or other crime of violence
  15. Attempt to commit any of the crimes described in items (1) through (14)
  16. Assault in the first degree
  17. Assault with intent to murder
  18. Assault with intent to rape
  19. Assault with intent to rob
  20. Assault with intent to commit a sexual offense in the first degree
  21. Assault with intent to commit a sexual offense in the second degree

Additional FAQ's

Q: How are 21st Century School Buildings taking green building standards and energy conservation into consideration?

A: Lorax Partnerships, LLC is the Sustainability and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) consultant to the program. Lorax works with each individual architectural/engineering team to ensure that each project achieves at least a LEED Silver certification, as required by the State of Maryland. Additional information can be found at www.usgbc.org/leed.

Q: What does it mean to be a Plan Year 1 school?  How long is Plan Year 1?

A: Plan Year 1 schools have a completion and occupancy time line of August 2017 – August 2018. Plan Year 2 schools have a completion and occupancy time line of August 2019 – August 2020.

Q: When is the next community meeting for my school?

A: Community meetings are ongoing throughout the program. Please check the website often for updates. You can find a list of upcoming meeting dates here.

Q: My school will be making a move in the middle of the year. What was the thought process behind this decision? Testing happens at this time. It will be disruptive to both students and teachers. Will the bell schedule also change? If so, why?

A: The decision to schedule mid-year moves was a difficult one. However, the ultimate goal of completing school projects on time is significant. City Schools is particularly sensitive to the hardship on teachers, students, and parents during this type of move. Every effort will be made to assist teachers, provide transportation support, and to consider testing and bell schedules in the best interest of the students.

Q: Why do school partnerships happen with external organizations?  Why not get local firms that know Baltimore involved?

A: There are no exclusions in the school partnership process. Any organization is invited to apply to become a Community School partner. For more information on the Community School process, contact Family League of Baltimore, Inc.

Q: Do MBE Contractors have to be MDOT certified by the State? If you are a certified MBE in the City, is there reciprocity?

A: There is no reciprocity between the Maryland Department of Transportation and Baltimore City minority and woman business certification programs. All 21st Century School Building projects are subject to the State MBE program. In order to be counted towards meeting the MBE participation goals, a firm must be certified as an MBE by the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Q: When will the procurement of the architectural services information be available for the Year 2 group of schools?

A: The Request for Qualification (RFQ) process to determine the pool of architectural firms that will participate in the Request for Proposals (RFQ) on architectural and design services of the Year 2 schools will start in late Fall 2015.

Q: Is Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) involved in the renovations or are the renovations only managed by City Schools?             

A: Maryland Stadium Authority is the lead agency on procurements for the 21st Century School Buildings Program. Management of the 23-28 schools is divided between Maryland Stadium Authority and City Schools. Read more about the partnership here.

Q: Are all 21st Century School Buildings projects renovations?       

A: Of the Year 1 schools, (2) are replacements and (9) are renovations. Year 2 schools are in the feasibility study phase; construction type is yet to be determined.

Q: Will 21st Century School Buildings have updated water lines?

A: 21st Century School Buildings will meet IPC (International Plumbing Code) requirements which includes updated plumbing lines.

Q: Are contractors required to be paid prevailing wage.    

A: Yes.

Q: Who will hire the contractors and who manages the Construction Managers?

A: Construction Managers hire sub-contractors. Maryland Stadium Authority and City Schools manages the Construction Managers.

General FAQs

What is the 21st Century School Buildings Plan?

The 21st Century School Buildings Plan is an ambitious plan to renovate or entirely rebuild public schools in the City of Baltimore that are in need of modernization.

Why are these school projects necessary?

Baltimore’s public school buildings are some of the oldest in Maryland. In addition to the structural issues common in aging buildings, many do not have adequate heating/cooling, lighting or potable water, nor proper wiring to support today’s technology needs in the classroom. Research shows that students learn best—and achieve their greatest potential—when they have areas for learning that support high-quality instruction; facilities that support current technology and ensure safety and security; a healthy environment with clean air, quality lighting and safe water; and schools that collaborate side-by-side with local neighborhoods.

What does each project involve?

A: Some Baltimore public schools will be renovated; others will be completely rebuilt from the ground up. Decisions about each school are made based on the condition of each school building, educational goals and other factors unique to each facility.

Which organizations are involved in leading this effort?

A: The 21st Century School Buildings Plan is a collaborative effort among Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland Stadium Authority, City of Baltimore, and Interagency Committee on Public School Construction.

What are the roles and responsibilities of each organization?

BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS is:

• Providing $20 million annually

• Managing the process for educational specifications, feasibility studies, schematic design and community outreach

• With the City of Baltimore, resolving community and recreational space and use plans prior to schematic design approval

• Managing renovation projects

The CITY OF BALTIMORE is:

• Providing $20 million annually

The INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION is:

• Approving, with Maryland Stadium Authority, the maintenance plan and budget before the release of construction funds for each school project It works with the MARYLAND BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS to

• Approve Stadium Authority projects at four stages: design, pre-construction, construction and bond issuance

• Approve renovation projects at bond issuance

The MARYLAND STADIUM AUTHORITY is:

• Leveraging the City’s $1.1 billion bond issue for the program

• Managing renovations and all new school construction projects

• Overseeing all procurement for replacement buildings and renovation, with Maryland Stadium Authority board approval

• Vetting every dollar on all projects authorized by the Maryland Stadium Authority board

• Maintaining statistics regarding budget, schedule, local hiring, wages, and small and minority business participation

Together, ALL FOUR PARTIES are:

• Approving schematic designs before MSA and/or BCPS proceed with design and construction

• Deferring to the Maryland Stadium Authority to resolve disputes related to schedule, budget and financing