Facilities Planning

Certificate of Occupancy - Reference Guide #B.08

"No building which is owned, operated or leased by a board of education or a board of cooperative educational services shall be occupied or otherwise used unless the building has a valid certificate of occupancy issued by the commissioner". (Section 155.4.c of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.) The Certificate of Occupancy (CO) must be issued by the Department and posted in a prominent place in the building prior to occupancy or use of the building. If a school district is occupying or using a building which has never received a Certificate of Occupancy (CO), the district is in violation of Section 155.4.

Typically, a CO results from the annual fire safety inspection required by Section 807a of the Education Law. However, for some buildings, report forms for the annual inspection have never been sent because the Office of Facilities Planning has never been advised that the building exist, and therefore, the buildings are not recorded in Facilities Planning's files.

A district using a building which does not have a valid CO should stop using the building until a CO is received. The procedures for obtaining a CO for a building which does not have one, are listed below.

In every case, the district must send a letter to Facilities Planning, Room 1060 EBA, Albany, New York 12234, advising of the need to obtain a CO. A project manager will be assigned to assist the district through the process and necessary forms will be sent.

The specific procedure to be followed is dependent on the origin of the building in question, i.e., 1) if the building did not require a Building Permit when constructed or placed on-site or, 2) if the building was constructed or placed on-site after January 1, 1985 without benefit of a Building Permit.

    Submit the following:
    • date of construction or date when facility was placed on-site;
    • a completed Request for Approval of Use of a Facility, form FP-AU. Follow the directions of 6.A.1.;
    • a satisfactory Fire Safety Report. Correct all non-conformances before sending the submission;
    • certification by a licensed architect or engineer that the building complies with all applicable provisions of Chapter C of the Uniform Code;
    • a floor plan of the facility;
    • a site plan;
    • substantiation that the AHERA asbestos management plan
      has been filed with the Department.
    Submit the same exhibits as detailed in 1. above, except as modified below:
    • submit certification by a licensed architect or engineer that the building complies with all applicable requirements of Chapter B of the Uniform Code, with specific reference to Article 7 - Structural Requirements, and Chapter C of the Uniform Code; and
    • submit working drawings and specifications for the construction of the facility, properly signed and sealed by the architect or engineer.
Last Updated: June 16, 2009