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Office of Facilities Planning

Newsletter Update #1 – May 2000

If you would like to have this Update sent directly to you by e-mail,

please send your e-mail address to Joe Levy at jlevy@mail.nysed.gov

This is our inaugural issue of our Newsletter. We will try to be both helpful and brief. We hope to limit this newsletter to two pages so as not to take up too much of your time reading it.

The purpose for this newsletter is really twofold. First, we hope to provide guidance and valuable information that will help you to meet our needs for complete submissions in the most efficient and effective way. Second, we hope to improve the quality and completeness of the submissions we receive from you so that we can provide a quicker turnaround time in reviewing and approving projects. This, in turn, will help the districts to get their projects out to bid in the most timely manner and will make the districts happier with the services they receive from you as well as from us.

Interesting Insight:

Here is an interesting bit of information for all of us to gauge how much school construction is planned. Since January 1st 697 capital projects have been reviewed with a value of $1,141,102,681. These projects value approximately 82% greater than the 613 projects through the same period of 1999. Which is almost twice the value of construction of last year.

Equivalency / Or Equal clause:

This clause must be correctly stated or it will needlessly cause a delay in getting the projects into the system for A/E review. By now everyone should know what we require in this statement. Our recommended verbiage can be found in the Manual of Planning Standards Appendix ‘A’ under the definition of "or equal". Our primary concern is that some specs are specifically not allowing equivalents. In addition some specs are trying to get around the equivalent requirement to get their product.

Finally, remember an equivalent is pre-bid, a substitution is post-contract.

Addendum Problems:

We now have the backlog of reviews down to approximately 5 to 8 weeks for either construction or mechanical reviews. However, there are a large number of addenda that are still outstanding. We would greatly appreciate a quick response from you so that the projects can receive final approval from our office. This will expedite the bidding time to the districts. In addition, many addenda we are receiving do not correctly address the issues of concern to us. It would help if you could assign the appropriate knowledgeable people in your office to review all addenda prior to sending them to us in order to be sure all items are completely and correctly addressed.

As a reminder, please provide two copies of each addendum. Sending one needlessly delays the approval of your projects. Finally, you must sign and seal all addendum documents.

Please, consider accessibility for the physically impaired:

Please read the requirements of the NYS UFP&BC, CABO/ANSI A117.1-1992 and ADAAG. For those that don’t have a copy of ADAAG, here you are, http://www.access-board.gov/bfdg/adaag.htm .

Have you filled in the code compliance checklist?

We are now requiring a completed code compliance checklist with every final project submitted to us. We are receiving submissions without this document. Please fill it out on the computer and send it in with your new submissions. If you use the computer program it will help you avoid common errors or mistakes. If you have any problems downloading the program, filling out the forms or you would like to make suggestions please contact Carl Rubenstein.


We are happy to hear from you. If you have a subject you would like addressed, feedback on the material you read, input or general comments, please send them to Joe Levy at jlevy@mail.nysed.gov .

We plan to address subject matter as discussed at our March 29, 2000 Workshop, common errors holding up reviews, solutions to repeat problems and any subject which will help the districts quickly and efficiently receive their project approvals.