Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #46 – December 2003


Get to Know us Better:

Stephen Howe is one of our new engineers. He joined Facilities Planning in early November.

Originally from Glens Falls, NY, Steve graduated from Northeastern University in Boston and spent many years in the Syracuse area. After living in South Carolina for 6 years, he returned to the Albany area. He has been active in the American Society of Plumbing Engineers including the Education and Legislative committees and is a Past President of the Research Foundation. He enjoys skiing and fishing in the Adirondacks.

Steve lives with his family in Latham. He enjoys hockey games at the Pepsi arena and the culture of the Albany metropolitan area.

Face-to-Face Review Appointments:

For the past few weeks we have had the Face-to-Face announcement on our website as promised in the December Newsletter. We have had very few requests. Please check the announcement at Scroll down and make your appointment if your project is qualified. Continue to check the announcement. We will be moving the limiting review number every few weeks. It is presently set at review number 03-0128.

Utility Outages and Emergency Management Plans

Facilities Planning has had a number of inquiries concerning our message about Utility Outages in the October 2003 Newsletter. We erred in our statement that school should have been closed when water was not restored within one hour. We should have advised that utility outages are one example of the many types of emergencies that should result in the implementation of the school’s emergency management plan, and that there are many factors that must be considered when determining whether to close a school as a result of a utility outage.

Emergencies can be natural occurrences, technological failures, or human made. Each emergency must be evaluated independently to assess the potential threat to the health and safety of facility occupants. Examples of these utility issues include the time of day when the outage occurs or is discovered, the ability to coordinate and conduct emergency transportation for early dismissal, the ability to provide temporary potable water, the ability to utilize non-potable water to allow continued use of lavatories, the provision of portable sanitary facilities, the provision of adequate ventilation, the capacity of emergency generating equipment, the continuation of vital safety systems such as fire alarm systems, intercom systems, emergency lighting from generation or battery sources, or even the degree of sunshine available to help illuminate dark classrooms and corridors. As a further follow-up, please refer to the following information on Emergency Management Planning, pursuant to Section 155.17 of the Commissioner’s Regulations -,5,15,00.html.

In the event that an emergency occurs, contact your local BOCES or this office for information and assistance. Emergencies should also be reported to BOCES and SED. Additional information addressing Project SAVE and school emergency planning may be found at the following web sites:

Each emergency is unique and must be fully understood and evaluated in order to make defensible decisions. Those decisions will always be made at the local level and must give the highest priority to the health and safety of the occupants of the building.

Asbestos Abatement Issues

Painted surfaces may contain asbestos? Asbestos has been found in a few different forms in paint. This includes Glidden paint used by one school district as late as 1992. The most common material may be the talc mined in many places including Gouverneur, New York. Please be aware that paints with fibers in them should be tested as a suspicious material. Remember, check the painted surfaces behind heaters in buildings that have no records of the types of paints used. These hard to reach surfaces may hold original paint that has not been covered.

Additionally, all school officials, Construction Managers, Architects, and Engineers should be fully aware of the requirements for asbestos removal, air monitoring, cleanup, and clearances pursuant to NYS Department of Labor Code Rule 56 and AHERA. The school districts should be carefully interviewing the professionals responsible for designing and monitoring their projects to be sure only qualified personnel are involved with asbestos removals. The professionals MUST represent the districts by checking the qualifications of the contractors and assuring the contractor provides all of the previously mentioned services in the proper manner. It has been brought to our attention that contractors may not be providing proper removal and clearance services. DO NOT allow unqualified monitoring persons on your projects!

An Index of our Newsletters is available on our web site at

If you would like to have this Newsletter 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.