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Facilities Planning

Uniform Safety Standards for School Construction and Maintenance Projects


Certificate of Occupancy

During construction or maintenance activities, school district personnel shall monitor the occupied portion of any school building to ensure that it complies with the minimum requirements necessary to maintain a certificate of occupancy.


Boards of Education and BOCES shall follow procedures established under section 155.4(d)(7) for the investigation and disposition of complaints relating to health and safety received as a result of construction and maintenance activities.

Health and Safety Committee

Boards of Education and BOCES shall establish procedures for the involvement of the health and safety committee to monitor safety during school construction projects.

Emergency Plan

The district emergency plan shall be updated to reflect any changes necessary to accommodate the construction process.

Fire Drills

Fire drills shall be held to familiarize students and staff with temporary exits and revised emergency procedures.


Boards of education and BOCES shall establish procedures for notification of parents, staff, and the community in advance of a construction project of $10,000. Or more. Click here for a sample notification.

Fire and Hazard Prevention

The following shall be strictly enforced:

  • No smoking is allowed on public school property, including construction areas.
  • During construction, daily inspections of district-occupied areas shall be conducted by school district personnel to ensure that construction materials, equipment, and debris do not block fire exits or emergency rescue windows.
  • Proper operation of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and smoke /fire detection systems shall be maintained throughout the project.

Air Quality

During maintenance and repair activities conducted by school district personnel, care must be taken to control chemical fumes, gasses, and other contaminants. Activities and materials that result in "off-gassing" of volatile organic compounds such as glues, paints, furniture, carpeting, wall covering, drapery, etc. shall be scheduled, cured or ventilated in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations before a space can be occupied.


All areas scheduled for maintenance and repair or construction by school district personnel as well as areas of flaking and peeling paint shall be tested for the presence of lead and abated or encapsulated in accordance with HUD guidelines. More info at Lead Abatement Clarification


Districts shall take responsibility for being aware of the geological potential for high levels of radon and test and mitigate as appropriate.

Post Construction Inspection

The school district or BOCES shall provide the opportunity for a walk-through inspection by the health and safety committee members to confirm that the area is ready for occupancy.