Facilities Planning

Newsletter 83 – January 2007

Happy Returns:

Hold on to your seats sports fans… THEY’RE BACK!  Yes the dynamic duo of Maureen Lavare and Dan Westbrook has returned to Facilities Planning.  It’s so wonderful to welcome them back.  We hope you have noticed Maureen’s return as she had returned in May to a private office in our penthouse suite.  Sven noticed.  Dan returned in December and has comfortably settled back like he had never left.  Please welcome them back by asking for them by name any time you have questions for Facilities Planning.

Vehicle Lift Safety Tips:

The following is a link for a safety sign for your vehicle lifts:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/articles/LiftSafetyTips_120506.pdf PDF Image Icon (651KB).  If you would like a copy, please contact ALI for copies by email at info@autolift.org or through their web page http://www.autolift.org/contact.html External Link Icon.

Submissions Forms Workbook and Code Compliance Checklist Both Updated:

Updated versions of the Submission Forms Workbook and Code Compliance Checklist have been placed on our website.  We hope the updated Submission Forms Workbook makes the use of project forms easier for everyone.  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/SubInfo.htm  Please begin using these forms for all work and delete the older versions of them from your computers.

Energy Savings:

One of the most reasonable ways to save energy is the replacement of incandescent electric lamps with compact fluorescent lamps.  In the past year, prices of these lamps have decreased significantly. These bulbs have the added benefit of a much longer life, thus also reducing maintenance costs.

Classroom Design:tc  \l 2 "VISUAL ENVIRONMENT"

Part III, Environment, within the Manual of Planning Standards provides design information for schools and classrooms.  Among the numerous inquiries we receive, the following information should help with classroom design for new construction and reconstruction.

Room Size: 

Facilities Planning publishes the “State Building Aid for Public School Districts and BOCES” which details the room sizes for new construction, room sizes for Special Education spaces, and sizes for support spaces.  This list can be found on our website,


The room sizes depicted in the Building Aid publication are the guidelines of room sizes for which New York State is providing State aid.  If the rooms are smaller, the State may not be providing aid.  If the rooms are larger, the aid may not cover the entire cost of construction.  This is always a primary consideration in room size, a district may alter the room sizes if they desire and document their intention.

Ceiling Height:

The ceiling heights of classrooms shall not be less than nine feet.   The height is measured from the floor to the principal plane of the ceiling.  The ceiling height of athletic facilities should be not less than 20 feet.  The New York State Public High School Athletic Association recommends 25' for some competitive sports and competition "rule books" published by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) have requirements for dimensioning indoor courts, arenas, pools, and playing surfaces, including the height.  The ceiling heights of offices, storage areas, kitchens, and corridors must all be designed according to the latest building code requirements.


All occupied areas within school buildings shall be provided with mechanical ventilation.  The recommended minimum ventilation quantities must be designed to meet the requirements of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

Noise Control of the mechanical equipment should always ensure that the noise produced by the mechanical HVAC and plumbing systems is attenuated to a level appropriate for the space that these systems serve.

For emergency egress, classroom windows, and natural lighting design see Newsletter #81 for additional information.  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/Newsletter/Newsletter_81.html

An Index of our Newsletters is available on our web site at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/NewsLetters.htm.

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 jlevy@mail.nysed.gov.

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.

Last Updated: May 23, 2014