Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter Update #15 – May 2001

Get to Know Us Better

We would like to introduce you to Mary DeVoss. Mary has worked for our Department since 1988 and specifically in our office for the past three years. Her job responsibilities are many and varied--she processes LOI's, assists Carl Thurnau with the SEQRA process, does all of the usual necessary things generic to any office which are essential to keep the office functioning (such as answering phones, photocopying, opening and routing the mail, filing--or, as Mary says, she does "whatever"...), and, more importantly, she pops our microwave popcorn without burning it! (Popcorn is a daily afternoon ritual in our office so this is a major contribution to the well-being of the entire staff!)

Mary has three children. Her oldest daughter is in the RN Nursing program at Maria college and her youngest daughter hopes to attend college next year to study elementary education. She also has a son who will be attending Hudson Valley Community College this fall to study electrical engineering.

As for her own educational background, Mary has an A.A.S. in Early childhood Education from Maria College and graduated with a wonderful 3.8 average! She also took some undergraduate courses in Special Education at the College of St. Rose. In addition, she attended Hudson Valley Community College where she took Computer Science courses in order to qualify for the Computer Programmer Trainee and Systems Support Aide exams. (She was successful, too, and is current on those Civil Service lists... however, we hope she doesn't accept one of those positions!)

Removing Asbestos Tile Mastic with Chemicals:

Again this year, we have had schools closed due to the use of chemicals for removing asbestos floor tiles. Low VOC products are not smell free, please do not use them in occupied buildings! For asbestos tile and mastic removals that must use chemicals, we would like to bring to your attention that there are non-toxic soy-based mastic solvents on the market. Please research these and try them out. From field reports, the soy-based products are more expensive and slower working than the chemical solvents, but they have no smell and release no VOC's. This reportedly will eliminate the lingering VOC problem following the mastic removal and should be used for work in buildings containing occupied spaces.

Soy products may not remove some types of mastic. Bead blasting is an additional method for mastic removal and does not involve the use of VOC solvents. Please research this method and consider the applicability.

Hand-Delivered Documents (such as Final Submissions or Addenda):

If you decide to have your final submission documents or addenda hand-delivered, please do not direct the delivery person to personally hand it to a project manager or one of our reviewers.  All documents must be opened and date-stamped by our support staff and are not lost between the point of receipt and the project managers' or reviewers' desks.  Our support staff does an excellent job of handling incoming mail and, quite honestly, your documents are much more likely to get lost if they get into the hands of the project managers or reviewers out of sequence!   Instead of interrupting whatever the project managers or technical staff are doing so that they can take the items being delivered out of the hands of your delivery person and turn around to put them into the hands of the support staff person, please put as much trust in our support staff as we have and instruct your delivery person to hand their items directly to Alicia, Terry or Mary.  We would really appreciate your cooperation in this matter. (And the project managers and technical staff will no longer accept them!) 


Addressing Your Addenda:

Please send your Addenda directly to the Architect or Engineer who performed your review. DO NOT send it to the Project Manager. Sending Addenda to the Project Manager can cause a delay in the review of the addendum, therefore, causing a delay in your project approval.

Only one copy of addenda need to be sent to Facilities Planning, although two copies were previously required. Our procedures changed with changes to Commissioner's Regulation 155.2. We currently throw the second copy into the recycling basket.


Facilities Planning's New Address:

No, Facilities Planning has not changed it's mailing address. But, some firms still send mail and submissions to locations other than this one, sometimes to locations where the office used to be located several moves ago. Please make note of our address in case you had not been aware of our last move.


State Education Department

Office of Facilities Planning

Room 1060, Education Building Annex

Albany, NY 12234 

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


Please continue to send in your comments and requests. If you have a subject you would like addressed, feedback on the material you read, input or general comments we are happy t hear from you.