Construction/Facility Safety

OverviewWorkers on Room Installing Solar Panels

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 (refer to International Code Council (ICC) 2015 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 the Utah State Legislature Title 53E-3-7: School Construction, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) shall adopt construction guidelines to maximize funds used for public school construction and reflect efficient and economic use of those funds. Also refer to the Utah Office of Administrative Rules R277-471: School Construction Oversight, Inspections, Training and Reporting, 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 School Construction Resources provides facility and facility safety related Best Practices information.

Along with the State of Utah Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Utah Schools being mandated in the Utah Office of Administrative Rules R277-400: School Facility Emergency and Safety, 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.

Best Practice Acceptable Use Form

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

School Construction Resources

School Construction Resource Manual
April 30, 2013

Regulation

Utah Office of Administrative Rules:

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 
State of Utah

Earthquake Safety at School 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

School Earthquake Safety Initiative | School Earthquake Safety Resources
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)

Utah Earthquake Program 
Utah Department of Public Safety

Emergency Procedures Plan for Utah Schools

Emergency and Safety Alliance: School Emergency Response Plan and Management Guide
DC.gov

Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Utah Schools 
State of Utah

Multihazard Emergency Planning for Schools Site Index | Sample School Emergency Operations Plan
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

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

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 Plans 
Emery County School District

School Facilities Safety and Security Resources

Submit a Tip
SafeUT

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

Utah School Safety Commission Feedback
State of Utah House of Representatives

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

References and Resources

Accessibility

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

United States Department of Justice

Building Safety and Security 

Auditing Schools for Safety 
Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)

Fire Marshal
Utah Department of Public Safety

Licensee Lookup and Verification System
Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL)

Radon Prevention in the Design and Construction of Schools and Other Large Buildings
National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)

Search for Certified Professionals
International Code Council (ICC)

Utah Department of Health

Utah Department of Public Safety

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Construction and Design

Association for Learning Environments: Enhancing the Education Experience

Building Commissioning 
Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG)

Design Requirements | Standard Construction Documents
Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management

Division of Boiler and Elevator Safety | Elevator/Escalator Compliance Manual
Utah State Labor Commission

Do School Facilities Affect Academic Outcomes? | Facility Assessment Overview | High Performance Schools | Schools as Centers of Community: A Citizen's Guide for Planning and Design
National Clearing House for Educational Facilities (NCEF)

K-12 Infrastructure | State of Our Schools: America’s K–12 Facilities | State of Our Schools: America’s K–12 Facilities Chart
National Council on School Facilities (NCSF)

School Science Facilities Planner 
School Clearing House

United States Department of Education

Energy

Building Energy Codes Program | Guide to Operating and Maintaining EnergySmart Schools
United States Department of Energy

Governor's Office of Energy Development: Advancing Utah's Energy Future 
State of Utah

Portfolio Manager
Energy Star

Maintenance and Operations

Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Facilities Information Management: A Guide for State and Local Education Agencies | Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Risk Management

Utah Learning Portal: Risk Training
Utah Division of Risk Management

Utilities and Jurisdictional

Critical Lands Planning Toolkit 
State of Utah

Division of Public Utilities 
Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Public Utilities

Other

Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International

Association for Learning Environments: Enhancing the Education Experience

International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) Utah Chapter 

Utah Association of School Business Officials (UASBO)

Utah Facilities Operation and Maintenance Association (UFOMA)