Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #42 Ė August 2003

Certificates of Substantial Completion (FP-CSC 97):

August, that wonderful time of the year when all school districts want and need to take occupancy of that beautifully renovated or newly constructed building and addition. Before this happens the Certificate of Substantial Completion form (CSC) must be sent in to Facilities Planning in order for us to send the district their Certificate of Occupancy (CO).

This form should be submitted to Facilities Planning as soon as the new building or addition, or part of a new building, is "substantially complete" and occupancy is desired. The CSC form must be submitted with a completed Public School Fire Safety Report having no non-conformities before a CO will be issued by Facilities Planning. In order to insure the processing of your CO, please staple the Fire Safety Report to the CSC. The CSC form may be submitted for all or part of a building that is "substantially complete" when it meets all required regulations, fire, and building codes. If the form is submitted for occupying part of a building, those portions of the building that are not substantially complete must be clearly indicated on the form. The form should not be submitted if there are outstanding change orders, punch list items, or litigation issues that need to be finished before the building will fully comply with regulations, fire or building codes necessary for occupancy.

The Certification of Substantial Completion form is available in a printable PDF format on our web site at:, or in Excel format on our Forms and Checklists page as "Certificate of Substantial Completion Newred1.gif (731 bytes)5/6/03 in Excel Format" at:

For additional information you can also consult our Certificate of Occupancy Guide at: If you have any additional questions on filing the form, please contact Dave Clapp at (518) 474-3906 or e-mail him at Please send the form to the attention of Dave Clapp.

Electric Folding Partitions

June 1st is past and the new school year is about to begin. We are still receiving many applications for installation of the safety equipment for electrically operated partitions and curtains required by the Commissioner's Regulation 155.25. And if you have a waiver, please think again. The waivers expired June 1, 2003.

Please donít panic if you havenít received your approval or your installation is not completed. The solution is very simple. If the proper safety devices have not been installed on your partition you are simply not allowed to use it. To be entirely legal the door must be rendered inoperative until the proper safety devices are installed. We ask for your own safety and liability that you carefully adhere to these requirements. The regulation is posted on our web site.

Speeding Up the Review Process/Reduce the Backlog:

Facilities Planning is looking for suggestions from school districts and A/E firms to help us speed up the review process and reduce the backlog. One such suggestion is to extend our review of simple single trade projects to all projects that effect building infrastructure. This would not include projects for reconstruction, additions or new buildings. If you have suggestions that would help reduce the backlog please send them to Carl Thurnau at

We have advocated that if documents are completed and reviewed before they are sent in to Facilities Planning that it would be the quickest way to speed up reviews. We canít express the importance of this strongly enough. We have been asked to review that issue much closer by firms who send in well-prepared documents on a regular basis. It has been suggested to post these firms on the web site or give them preferential or earlier reviews.

Youíve seen two of the suggestions we have so far. Do you have one? Or do you want to suggest what should not be changed?

Site Design Ė the Fire Code of New York State

Designs must incorporate the requirements of the Fire Code of New York State. These features are in addition to the requirements of the Building Code of New York State. Please take a quick look at your work and check to be sure that these three requirements have been applied to all additions and new buildings. So far there are many instances where they are being overlooked.

  1. F503 - Fire apparatus access roads shall be provided. It shall extend to within 150 feet of all portions of the facility/building or any portion of the exterior wall of the first story of the building around the exterior. This road needs to be 20 feet wide and be cleared of snow. In our opinion a paved surface is the best surface for clearing snow. Dead-ends, and obstructions are also addressed.
  2. F504.1 Ė Access is required to exterior doors and for fire department access. A walkway leading from fire apparatus access roads to exterior openings or the exit doors must be provided.
  3. F508.5 - Fire hydrant systems are required where the water service is available, very similar to S404d in the SED Manual of Planning Standards but with a distance requirement of only 400 feet. This section further specifies requirements for the location, obstructions, clear space around, and physical protection of fire hydrants. They must be located aside the fire fighting access road, parking lot or other road, not in a field. The 400 feet is measured along the paved route, not across a field or fences.

These are quite specific and somewhat different than what we are used to providing. If you have an addition or new building under design please do not forget to incorporate these requirements. If the project is here for review, it may be helpful and speed up the process if you send the addendum before we review the project.


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