The pact that will facilitate the $1 billion, decade-long effort to upgrade Baltimore city school facilities was finalized today, with a unanimous vote of the Maryland Board of Public Works to approve a Memorandum of Understanding that will serve as a blueprint for revitalizing the city's dilapidated school infrastructure.

The memorandum, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of state and local agencies over the course of the system's 10-year facilities plan, was a condition of the law that allows the district to orchestrate and fund 30 to 35 renovations and new structures.

Of note, the memorandum -- which can be read here -- sets in stone critical roles and responsibilities in oversight and funding of the 10-year-plan.

The school system, city government and state will each contribute $20 million annually to the projects in order to leverage up to $1.1 billion in bonds.

The Maryland Stadium Authority, whose involvement was critical to the school district securing financial backing from the state, will leverage the bonds and also manage all new construction. The school system will oversee renovations.

“In these past months, as we’ve worked together to forge this agreement, the four entities have developed a partnership based on trust and mutual respect,” Michael Frenz, executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority, said in a release sent by the agency. “We believe this will carry over into the actual building program and make it an unalloyed success.

“We also believe that the agreement will allow Maryland Stadium Authority to do what we do best,” he said.  “Bring in construction projects on time and on budget.”

Construction is expected to start in late 2015; the first projects are scheduled to be completed by summer 2017.

erica.green@baltsun.com

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