The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) In many areas of the state, overcrowding in the schools has created a need for new school facilities in neighborhoods where little or no vacant land exists. School districts are compelled, therefore, to acquire property that already has been developed with structures, then demolish these structures and construct classroom space.
(b) With an estimated statewide need for school facilities within the next five years that exceeds fourteen billion dollars ($14,000,000,000), neither state nor local funds reasonably can be anticipated to meet this need.
(c) In many of the areas having overcrowded schools, a significant supply exists of vacant space in structures meeting current building codes.
(d) Use of this vacant space by schools can be a cost-effective means of providing classroom space for the students of California.
(e) This chapter and Section 4-306 of Part 1 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations authorize the reconstruction of existing commercial buildings for school facility purposes.
(f) No existing commercial building shall be considered for reconstruction for school facility classroom purposes unless it was designed and constructed according to the standards established in the 1976 Uniform Building Code or subsequent editions of that code.
(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 277, Sec. 2. Operative January 1, 1998.)