Construction/Facility Safety

Overview

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) has developed this website to help Local Education Agencies (LEAs), school districts and charter schools administrators and facilities personnel, along with those involved with school facilities, to better design, plan, build, and maintain efficient and effective school facilities, while maintaining the appropriate level of safety and security. Included within this website are the electronic version of the School Construction Resource Manual; related law and administrative rules; construction forms; construction and inspection-related references; lists of school construction projects; the electronic version of Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Schools; and much more.

School construction, maintenance and operation must comply with all applicable building codes. The purpose of building codes is to establish the minimum requirements to provide a reasonable level of safety, public health and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment and to provide a reasonable level of safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations (International Building Code (IBC) 101.3).

The provisions of the codes apply to the construction, alteration, relocation, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures (IBC 101.2), which applies to leased facilities.

Hopefully this information is helpful in your planning process. If there are topics for which you would like more information, please contact School Construction at schoolconstruction@schools.utah.gov.

Best Practices

As mandated in Utah Code 53E-3-7, the Utah State Board of Education shall adopt construction guidelines to “maximize funds used for public school construction and reflect efficient and economic use of those funds”. See also Administrative Rule R277-471-3, which provides “minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare of occupants while using the most comprehensive, cost effective and efficient design means and methods”. The tab “Construction Resource Manual” provides facility and facility safety related Best Practices information.

Along with the Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Utah Schools being mandated in Administrative Rule R277-400, it is considered a guideline for best practice relative to Utah K-12 public school safety and security. The Safety and Security website provides additional links to information and examples considered best practice for school facilities.

If you have any questions about facility or safety best practice for K-12 public schools, please feel free to contact School Construction at schoolconstruction@schools.utah.gov

Information related to the posting of information on the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) website is outlined in the Best Practice Acceptable Use Policy

School Construction Resource Manual

2013 School Construction Resource Manual

Regulation

Utah State Legislature:

Manual Topics

Major topics include long-range planning; the role and responsibilities of the School District Building Official (SDBO) and Charter School Board Building Official (CSBBO); school site issues such as size and location, pupil transportation into and away from the school, geologic hazards, environmental impact, acquisition and development, as well as coordination with the local municipality and county; plan development issues such as educational specifications, selection of architects/engineers, facility design, and plan reviews; value engineering and life-cycle costing; structural, energy; fire marshal plan reviews; the construction bidding process; the construction inspection process; and maintenance and operation of buildings after construction.

The resource manual is comprised of various chapters which are listed below:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Asbestos Removal/Containment in Facilities
  • Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Utah Public Schools
  • Facilities Planning
  • Facility Graffiti Removal and Prevention
  • Fire and Structural Wall Identification
  • Fire Extinguishing Systems Inspection and Test
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Inspection Process
  • Legal Liability in Building Maintenance and Operations
  • Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards
  • Outdoor Learning Play Centers and Playgrounds
  • Plan Development
  • Plan Review/Value Engineering
  • Procurement (Bidding) Process
  • Radon Gas in Facilities
  • Relocatable (Portable Classroom) Building Issues
  • Roof Inspection Management and Maintenance
  • School District Building Official and Charter School Board Building Officer
  • School Facility Site Selection and Development
  • Storage of Flammable and Combustible Liquids
  • Underground Natural Gas Piping

School Facility Safety and Security

Emergency Compliance and Assurance

Although school emergency compliance and assurance requirements are still in effect, the detailed reporting required by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), of individual schools and school districts, was only required to be submitted in Fiscal Year 2013. Current reporting is included in the USBE Utah Consolidated Application (UCA) Compliance information in addition to emergency topics, and is reported at the administrative level to USBE. A copy of this form can be reviewed by selecting the link below. The detailed emergency compliance reporting forms required in Fiscal Year 2013 can be used by Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to assist in meeting compliance, but, as noted above, are not required to be.

Earthquake Safety

Be Ready Utah
Utah.gov

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI):

Earthquake Safety at School
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Utah Earthquake Program
Utah Department of Public Safety

Emergency Procedures Plan for Utah Schools

DC.gov

Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Utah Schools
Utah.gov

FEMA:

Rule R277-400: School Facility Emergency and Safety
Utah Office of Administrative Rules

Forms

Elementary School Level Emergency Compliance and Safety Form (Safety Template)

Secondary School Level Emergency Compliance and Safety Form (Safety Template)

District Level Emergency Compliance and Assurance Form

UCA Compliance and Assurance Form (Sample)

Note: any school with both elementary (K-6) and secondary (8-12) students, must adhere to the elementary school requirements.

Samples of School Safety Plans

Emergency Management Resources
Center for Safe Schools

Emergency Plan Flipchart
Washington County School District 

Emergency Response Plan
Provo City School District

Incident Command System
Jordan School District Auxillary Services

School Emergency Response Plan
Emery County School District

School Facilities Safety and Security Resources

SafeUT: Submit a Tip

Utah Compilation of School Discipline, Laws, and Regulations
United States Department of Education

Utah School Safety Commission Feedback
State of Utah House of Representatives

References and Resources