Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #58 – December 2004

 Mold in Schools:

Now that the heating system of every building is fully “on”, the buildings have also been “closed up” (as in windows and doors are closed).  The fresh air in the buildings is fully mechanical.  Now is the time we begin to receive complaints about indoor air quality from parents and teachers.  And yes, we are receiving complaints.  It is unfortunate that these conditions catch administrators by surprise.

Mold growth is the result of excess moisture.  If you have had roof leaks or other water problems you may now have a problem with mold that needs to be investigated.  Putting it off creates a larger problem, delaying the repair of the moisture problem makes it worse.  We had included a great article about mold in Newsletter #37.  It may help to resolve questions and correct the problems. .

Investigation of mold does not require testing.  It means recognizing mold, correcting the water problem, and cleaning up the mold with the proper anti-bacterial agents, and completing this in a reasonable time frame before health related problems can arise. 

Please remember, leaking roofs are very destructive.  Every roof leak the building has had in its life cycle is also the same location that needs to be inspected for structural deterioration.

 2006 Building Condition Survey:

We are receiving many questions about the 2006 Building Condition Survey.  Facilities Planning is presently preparing a “new and improved” web based system for reporting the surveys.  Yes, it will be on time.  Yes, it will be friendly.  No, it will not delete entries or disconnect people inputting data.  Staff has been working on it for a few months already. 

 To address some of the additional questions that we are receiving, please read the regulation first.  The appropriate Commissioner’s Regulation section is 155.4, Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety rating, and Monitoring , and 155.6, the School Facilities Report Card.  Here is a direct link to the entire 155 regulation:,5,15,00.html.  Building Condition Surveys must be completed prior to November 15, 2005, and all data must be submitted to the department by January 15, 2006.  Aid for the surveys will be available and will be based on the previous cap of $0.20 /sq ft escalated over time.  This will be calculated at a later date but we expect it to be in the neighborhood of approximately $0.23 or $0.24 / sq ft.  As before, we do not expect the actual cost to approach this figure.  The district must submit claims for aid within 6 months of the completion of the survey.  Watch this newsletter and our website for updated information as the requirement draws near.

 Toilet & Urinal Deodorizer Ban:

There were two separate bills signed by the Governor that ban certain deodorizers.  The first bill (A09485) banned the use of toilet and urinal deodorizers containing Para dichlorobenzene by public and private, elementary and secondary schools.  The bill was signed on August 3, 2004 with an effective date of July 1, 2004.  (see:  

The second bill (A11778) was signed by the Governor on September 21, 2004 and extended the effective date to November 1, 2004.  (see:

Short-Term Worker Asbestos Notification Reminder:

The federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires public and nonpublic schools to inform all non-school employees who perform short-term work in a school building, such as electricians, plumbers, and telephone repair workers of the locations of any known or assumed asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) in the building (§763.84(d)).  The school's asbestos designee is responsible for ensuring that short-term workers, prior to commencing any work, are informed and shown where known or assumed ACBM is located in the building.  A policy should be developed whereby the asbestos designee meets with short-term workers upon their arrival.  If the procedure is not followed, a situation may transpire where a short-term worker performs work in an area containing ACBM, thereby creating an asbestos fiber release episode.  This incident may inadvertently expose students, staff, and the worker who caused the incident to asbestos fibers.  

The notification requirement is best accomplished by showing the short-term worker a floor plan of the school, with the locations of all known and assumed ACBM highlighted, as well as providing clear instructions detailing where work should and should not be performed.  This notification process should be documented in the school's AHERA management plan.

The following links provide detailed information on the AHERA requirements:

 Additional questions on AHERA compliance may be directed to Laura Sahr ( or 518-474-3906) or your local BOCES Health and Safety Office.

 Facilities Planning Web Site:

If you have not seen this… then please take a look.  It is the new Facilities Planning Web page.  Since our office is part of EMSC (Elementary, Middle, Secondary, and Continuing Education) you will find the logo has changed.  Facilities Planning subjects are down the right side of the page and updates are posted in the center. 

 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.