Office of Facilities Planning
Newsletter #63 – May 2005


 New Evaluation of Existing Building form, FP-EEB 5/2005:

Please download the NEW updated Evaluation of Existing Building form.  Please begin using it right away.  It is on our web site forms page at


Oh yes, there really are changes.  Such as, fewer questions and a couple questions that have changed.  The old forms will eventually be unacceptable because of the questions that are changed.  Please dispose of previous versions of this form.  The date on this form is on the top left of both pages and reads 05/2005.

Informational Brochures on Mercury in Schools

State DOH has developed audience-specific brochures for the following individuals - including Superintendents of Buildings & Grounds, school nurses, science teachers, and more.  These materials may be downloaded from the following site:


We are adding the following requirements to the SED Manual of Planning Standards.  This will apply to hardware placed on new multi-user (gang) toilet room doors.  It does not apply to existing hardware, but must be provided if an existing door is removed/replaced and on new multi-user toilet rooms.

S109-6   Door Hardware for Multi-user Toilet Rooms

All multi-user toilet rooms shall have door hardware, which will allow the door to close and latch, but not lock. Locking mechanisms either operable from the interior or exterior side shall be prohibited.

Note:  Rational for this change:

  1. This is an issue regarding safety of students who use the space. There is no visual awareness of the activities in the restrooms as there is with classroom doors (i.e. vision panels and/or half lite doors.
  1. Doors locked from the interior would encourage inappropriate behavior and could result in serious injury or an emergency situation where school administration would be prohibited from entering the restroom for an extended period of time.
  1. Doors locked from the exterior, prohibiting use of the facility, may compromise the building code by not adequately providing enough fixtures based on the occupancy of the building.

The practice of limiting access to toilet room facilities either during school or for after school activities should be an administrative function, not an architectural hardware function, especially when the locking of these doors either by students or staff is at the discretion of the individual.

Cesspools and Ground Water

There is a 1999 EPA rule regarding large cesspools and ground water injection of drainage from vehicle repair garages that has a deadline of April 5, 2005.  Please reference the EPA site regarding Cesspools.  Any schools with existing large cesspools or dry wells from bus garages are required to register and close them as of this date.  Please note that ordinary ground water disposal systems for sewage including septic tanks and drywells or leach fields are not considered cesspools. 

Storm Water Management Model:

EPA has an improved version of their free software program available to Civil and environmental engineers.  The Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) software is supposed to help plan, analyze, and design urban storm water drainage and sewer systems. This latest revision to SWMM includes several improvements not available in previous editions. These include a modern graphical user interface, a more intuitive modeling approach, and improved computational speed.

SWMM is a rainfall runoff computer model that simulates single event or continuous storm water runoff quantity and quality primarily for urban areas.  The runoff component simulates the operation of drainage areas that receive rainfall and generate runoff that may include pollutants. The routing component of SWMM simulates the transport of runoff through a system of pipes, channels, storage/treatment devices, pumps, and regulators.  SWMM tracks the quantity and quality of runoff generated within each drainage area as well as the flow rate, flow depth, and quality of water in each pipe and channel during a simulation period comprised of multiple time steps.


The free SWMM program, including tutorials, is available on EPA’s Wet Weather Flow Research web page at and can be accessed 24-hours a day.

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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.