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Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #20 Ė October 2001

Get to Know us Better

If you havenít already met her, please meet Laura Sahr. She has been with the SED since 1982 and in Facilities Planning since 1986. Her "official title" is Assistant in School Business Management but her actual duties go far beyond the title. Laura currently heads the Departmentís Emergency Planning Team, serves as the Departmentís liaison to the Disaster Preparedness Commission, and the State Emergency Management Office. She is also our liaison to the NYS Community IPM Coordinating Council, and the Association for Educational Safety and Health Professionals (AESHP). Laura works with school districts on health and safety issues such as asbestos, emergency planning, integrated pest management (IPM), radon, and lead.

Laura has an AA degree from Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania; a BA degree from the State University at Albany; and an MA degree in Public Policy from SUNY Empire State College. She has also completed a number of emergency management courses at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Laura resides in the Albany area with her husband (Les), her son (Steven), and their black lab-mix (Snowball - who they rescued from death row at the local animal shelter). In her free time, she enjoys going to the theatre and traveling. She also sings in a local chorus and performs in musical theatre. Finally, Laura says that the most unique job she ever had was a Page at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - but we really think she was a Rockette! What do you think?

Backlog for Final Review of Plans

Currently our web site is displaying the backlog for final review as 24 weeks. This is an average time from the completed receipt of all forms and documents from the district and the architect or engineer through when it is first picked up and reviewed here at Facilities Planning. We had over 200 projects per month received here in Facilities Planning last winter, culminating at 289 received in March. We are almost through that period and the number of projects received monthly after March declined significantly. Therefore, the number of weeks the backlog shows will soon begin to decline as well. Projects presently being submitted will most likely experience a backlog of 13 to 15 weeks. We are also continuing to work on reducing that period of time.

One significant step we have taken is the hiring of new staff. We have just added a Senior Architect, Senior Engineer, Assistant Architect and a Code Compliance Specialist. We are still accepting applicants for one more Senior Mechanical Engineer (starting salary $54,079). Those interested can still apply by sending an e-mail to Maureen Lavare at  mlavare@mail.nysed.gov

Final Cost Reports

It is possible that a number of districts are not aware of the DUE DATES for final cost reports. Therefore we added these important dates to our Web Page in the "Whatís New" category. Here is a hyperlink: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/What'sNewItems/FCR_DueDates.PDF

The Legislature set up this schedule to "close the books" for past years. If districts have completed their construction projects, we canít say it strong enough - Donít delay! Please send in your Final Building Project Reports as soon as possible so you can get your aid.

There is no extension for filing beyond the dates listed in the law. Schedule final cost reports for new projects 6 months after the submission of the final substantial completion form. The law allows a 1 year extension of this 6 months or a total of 18 months to send it in.

Area of Buildings:

Most firms designing additions to existing buildings provide Facilities Planning with the square foot areas of the building wings in addition to the fire areas. As a separate item to the design documents we need all firms to provide this information when they are making additions to existing buildings.

The format for this information should be as follows:

List the date of construction for that portion of the building and the area. The date of construction should match the information on the Evaluation of the Existing Building. For example,

Date of construction original = 1939, area = 18,000 SF.

Date of construction addition = 2001, area = 9,000 SF.

The area provided is cumulative for all the floors added together within the addition. Therefore, it is likely that these areas will not match the fire areas we need for code compliance. This information can be provided in any format. It can be provided on the drawings or on a separate 8Ĺ" x 11" sheet of paper attached to the Code Compliance Checklist.

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 to hear from you.