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Department of Education Review Process

The Iowa Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) reviews all projects that are federally funded, licensed, or permitted and may affect historic properties. The law and regulations governing this review are Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, and its implementing regulations, 36 CFR Part 800, revised effective August 5, 2004. Under this act, federal agencies are required to take into account the effects of their actions, called “undertakings”, on historic resources.

Federal Education Grants

The US Department of Education provides federal grants for facility improvements to Iowa schools primarily through the Iowa Demonstration Construction Grant program (Fire/Life/Safety and Construction grants). In past years, School Renovation IDEA and Technology (SRIT) Grants were also available. (IDEA stands for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.) These grants are awarded through the Iowa Department of Education. Certain projects funded in whole or in part by these two grant programs may be considered “undertakings” under Section 106 and should be reviewed according to the procedures outlined in 36 CFR Part 800.

Grant Recipient’s Role

Although the US Department of Education is ultimately responsible for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, they delegated their duties to the Iowa Department of Education. By signature on the federal grant application, the grant recipient agrees to assist the Iowa Department of Education in assuring compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.

Once a grant is awarded, the grant recipient should:

  1. collect the information requested in the March 1, 2005 Guidance Memorandum on Department of Education Projects prepared by the Iowa SHPO, and
  2. submit the collected information and appropriate forms, including a Request for SHPO Comment on a Department of Education Project form, to IAED.

Links to these documents can be found here. Please do not submit any information on your project for official comment until the grant has been awarded. This will eliminate unnecessary project reviews by SHPO. If, however, you have questions about how to take care of your historic school, SHPO will be more than happy to assist you.

Please do not submit any information on your project for official comment until the grant has been awarded. This will eliminate unnecessary project reviews by SHPO. If, however, you have questions about how to take care of your historic school, SHPO will be more than happy to assist you.

Iowa Department of Education’s Role

The Iowa Department of Education’s School Facility Unit reviews all project documentation submitted by the grant recipients. If the submittal is complete and Iowa Department of Education agrees to the findings, they will sign the Request for SHPO Comment on a Department of Education Project form as the Federally Authorized Signature and forward the project documentation to SHPO for Section 106 review.

SHPO Role

Once the appropriate information is submitted to the Iowa Department of Education and forwarded to the Iowa SHPO with an agency determination regarding effects on historic properties, a 30-day comment period begins. SHPO staff will review the material submitted and provide comment. It is important to note that the Section 106 review process is consultative only. The Iowa SHPO provides comments to assist the US and Iowa Departments of Education, and their federal grant recipients, in meeting their responsibilities under Section 106 to take into account how their project may affect historic properties.

Questions or comments regarding this document should be directed to:
June Strand
515.281.8743
June.Strand@iowa.gov

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