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Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter Update #4 – June 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

Please continue to send in your comments. A question was sent in regarding the fire walls. The proper code reference in question is provided below. So, provide feedback, we are taking it seriously and want to answer your concerns. Our purpose is to provide information which will help all Consultants and Facilities Planning provide a quick concise review of all projects. This will help the schools get their construction projects out to bid in a timely manner.

Fire Walls:

The following passage had the wrong code section referenced in Newsletter #3:
Exterior wall openings located within 10 feet horizontally of the fire wall are required to be equipped with hour rated opening protectives in the fire area of the higher type of construction. See section 704.3(b)(4) of the code. Newsletter #3 on our Web site has been corrected


If you specify standardized items, equipment or material, you must follow the requirements for standardization of equipment authorized by Section 103, subdivision 5 of the General Municipal Law. This makes it possible for a board of education to standardize on a particular type or kind of equipment, material, or supplies by adopting a resolution. The resolution must contain a full explanation of the reasons for its adoption and meet the legal requirements of the law. The specifications for standardized items must indicate that the board has standardized the item.

All other specified material and equipment falls under the equivalency requirements for bidding. For further information you can read the SED School Business Management Handbook for Purchasing, Chapter IV.

Classroom size:

There are no minimum room sizes required by the building code. The document "State Building Aid for Public School Districts and BOCES" sets the minimum sizes for instructional spaces for building aid purposes. Yes, your clients, the schools, want you to use these figures for the minimum sizes of classrooms because building aid is involved. You can find this document under the heading of "State Building Aid Guidelines" in the Forms and Publications section of our Web Page, http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/publicat.html. You will need to download the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader if you haven’t already. Room sizes start at the bottom of page 2.

The measurement of the "net clear educational space" should be the interior of the classroom, including cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, and unit ventilators. Science rooms include preparation and storage spaces in the room area.

Toilet Fixtures:

The Code Review Checklist (CRC) bases the plumbing fixture count on classroom area. This calculation is the same as deriving the occupant load for exiting and consulting section 900.2(h) to determine the number of fixtures required. This is consistent with what most firms have been doing. Some firms perhaps realizing that school densities have been dropping have been using actual occupancy, rated capacity or enrollment projections. The code supports does not support those methods. We have tried to compensate for this by entering only the area of interchangeable classrooms logically occupied at homeroom. This includes classrooms, special education classrooms, and the lecture portion of any lab rooms, while not including lab spaces, home and career spaces, auditoriums, gymnasiums,   and storage rooms etc.

This means if you are adding classroom space you will need to add fixtures if the building does not have extra fixtures. We have found that most buildings were designed with extra fixtures, but in those cases where earlier additions have been made or some fixtures have been removed to provide space for HC accessible stalls, the existing fixture counts have became non compliant. In these instances, we will not require you or your clients to bring the existing portions of the buildings into compliance although compliance is encouraged. The additions however, must comply.


We receive questions such as what some particular individual (community/district or professional service provider) is doing particularly well. We cannot track this information above and beyond the outstanding feat regarding the vast quantity of construction you have prepared and are now bidding. The things we discuss here and much more are being provided by many individuals and firms. By pooling all this information we can help everyone provide better and safer designs. We want to be able to turn projects around and approve them quicker next year when the onslaught begins again. Those designers receiving quicker approvals know what we mean.

Manufactured Buildings: (also known as Modular or Relocatable Classrooms.)

Many School Districts are planning to install Manufactured Buildings for temporary classrooms this fall. If you have not requested a building permit yet, please look at the Requirements for the installation or relocation of Manufactured Buildings on our Web Page at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/policy/ManufacturedBuildingRequirements.html.


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 schools and consultants quickly and efficiently receive their project approvals.