8 CRR-NY 155.4NY-CRR
8 CRR-NY 155.4
8 CRR-NY 155.4
155.4 Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring.
(a) Short title and application.
This section, promulgated pursuant to sections 409-d, 409-e, 3602(6) and (6-e) and 3641(4) of the Education Law, shall be known as the Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring (hereinafter referred to as the code), and shall consist of three components: procedures for periodic inspections, a safety rating system and a monitoring system. The provisions of this section shall apply to all occupied public school buildings, provided that nothing herein shall prevent a school district or board of cooperative educational services from adopting stricter local codes. Such local code must meet or surpass all requirements of the code. Nothing herein shall affect a separate requirement to inspect and maintain school buildings pursuant to any other State or local law or regulation.
(b) Procedures for periodic inspections.
To ensure that all occupied public school buildings are properly maintained and preserved and provide a suitable educational setting, the board of education of each school district or board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) shall cause such facilities owned, operated or leased by the school district or BOCES to be assessed in accordance with sections 409-d and 409-e of the Education Law and this section, and, where applicable, section 807-a of the Education Law and section 155.8 of this Part. Buildings shall be assessed by a building condition survey conducted once every five years, an annual fire safety inspection conducted pursuant to section 807-a of the Education Law and section 155.8 of this Part or pursuant to local law or codes, and a visual inspection conducted in years 2020 and 2022 to the extent required in paragraph (2) of this subdivision. The commissioner may require additional visual inspections as deemed necessary to maintain the safety of public school buildings and the welfare of the occupants.
(1) Building condition surveys. School districts and BOCES shall conduct a building condition survey for all occupied public school buildings in calendar years 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 or 2024 on a schedule prescribed pursuant to this paragraph and at least every five years thereafter. Such schedule shall assign districts to Labor Market Regions (Capital Region, Central NY, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Long Island, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western NY) and shall use data regarding the number of occupied buildings for each district to equally distribute the number of buildings to be surveyed within each Labor Market Region in each scheduled assignment year, and shall use data from the 2015 building condition survey to the greatest extent practicable to assign districts with the highest number of buildings rated unsatisfactory or poor to the first two years of the assignment schedule while at the same time ensuring a pro-rated staggered implementation schedule within each Labor Market Region.
(i) The physical inspections required to complete the survey shall be conducted by a team that includes at least one licensed architect or engineer. The Commissioner of Education shall prescribe the format required to complete the survey.
(ii) The survey shall include, but not be limited to list of all program spaces and an inspection of the following building system components for evidence of movement, deterioration, structural failure, probable useful life, need for repair and maintenance and need for replacement:
(a) the building site, including utilities, paving, playgrounds, and play fields;
(c) exterior elements of the building, including walls, doors, windows, fire escapes;
(d) building structural elements;
(e) building interiors, including finishes, doors, and hardware;
(f) electrical systems, including service and distribution, lighting, communications, technology infrastructure and cabling;
(g) plumbing, including water distribution system, drainage system, and fixtures;
(h) heating and cooling systems, including boilers, furnaces, terminal units, and control systems;
(i) ventilation systems;
(j) air conditioning systems, including refrigeration, terminal units, and control systems;
(k) special construction, including stairs, elevators, escalators, and swimming pools;
(l) fire protection and security systems, including alarm, detection and fire protection; and
(m) environmental features, including appearance, cleanliness, acoustics, lighting quality, thermal comfort, humidity, ventilation and space adequacy.
(iii) Reports of building condition surveys, signed and sealed by the licensed architect or engineer, shall be submitted to the commissioner by March 1st following the calendar year the building condition survey is due pursuant to the staggered schedule set forth in this paragraph and March 1st of every fifth year thereafter. Building aid computed pursuant to section 3602(6-e) of the Education Law is available for building condition surveys conducted by a licensed architect or engineer if no claim for such a building condition survey in such a building has been filed in the previous five years. The apportionment of such building aid for each school building so inspected by a school district in the base year shall not exceed the lesser of the product of the building aid ratio and the actual cost, or the building condition survey aid ceiling computed by the commissioner. For aid payable in the 2000-2001 school year and thereafter, the building condition survey aid ceiling shall be the product of 20 cents plus an additional amount times the gross area of the building. Such additional amount shall be the result obtained when the cost of labor and material index determined by the New York State Department of Labor for the month of July of the current year is divided by the cost index for July 1999 and the result is rounded to two decimal places. A claim for building aid shall be made in a form prescribed by the commissioner, within six months of the date of the architect or engineer report, for aid payable in the following school year. Such reports shall be made available to the public on request.
(2) Visual inspections.
(i) A visual inspection of every occupied public school building shall be conducted at least once in calendar year 2020 provided, however, that such visual inspection shall not be required where a building condition survey was conducted pursuant to the staggered schedule set forth in paragraph (1) of this subdivision in calendar year 2020. A visual inspection of every occupied public school building shall also be conducted at least once in calendar year 2022 provided, however, that such visual inspection shall not be required where a building condition survey was conducted pursuant to the staggered schedule set forth in paragraph (1) of this subdivision in calendar years 2020, 2021, or 2022. The commissioner may require inspections of public school buildings as deemed necessary to maintain the safety of public school buildings and the welfare of their occupants.
(ii) The visual inspection shall consist of a visual re-inspection of the components of the building condition survey for changes that may have occurred and a review and update of the safety rating as needed.
(iii) The visual inspection shall be conducted by a team composed of a person certified by the Department of State as a code enforcement official, or in the case of the City of New York, a person certified by the New York City Building Department as a local code enforcement official, the district director of facilities or his or her designee, and a member of the health and safety committee required pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section.
(iv) If a visual inspection results in a determination that the building may have a deficiency that would result in a determination pursuant to subdivision (c) of this section that the safety rating of the building is unsatisfactory or unsafe/unhealthful, the board of education or board of cooperative educational services shall retain a licensed architect or engineer to perform a detailed inspection and develop a corrective action plan. In addition, the commissioner may require a board of education or board of cooperative educational services to conduct a detailed inspection by a licensed architect or engineer where the commissioner determines that:
(a) the school district or board of cooperative educational services has provided insufficient spending for maintenance, repair or capital renewal of the building; or
(b) the school provides a poor learning environment pursuant to section 100.2(p) of this Title.
(v) Visual inspections shall be completed by December 31st of calendar years 2020 and 2022 pursuant to subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
(vi) The results of the visual inspection of all occupied public school buildings shall be reported to the commissioner on forms prescribed by the commissioner, shall be signed by the person or persons who conducted the inspection and shall be filed with the commissioner within 60 days of the completion of the inspection. Such reports shall indicate if more inspections and repairs are necessary to protect the health and safety of students and staff occupying such school buildings. Visual inspection reports shall be made available to the public.
(vii) Any person, or any public or other corporation for which any such person acts, shall not be liable for any error, omission or lack of thoroughness in the making of the inspection and report required or permitted by this section.
(c) Safety rating system.
Each school district and board of cooperative educational services shall provide for the safety rating of all occupied school buildings keyed to the structural integrity and overall safety of the building on an annual basis.
(1) The safety rating shall be established by each district or board of cooperative educational services after consultation with the health and safety committee established pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section and shall identify and assess the condition of every major system component of each occupied school building based upon overall assessment of the system or element, probable useful life, structural integrity, overall safety, need for repair and maintenance, need for replacement, the estimated cost of necessary repairs and/or replacement, and assessment of the effectiveness of the building comprehensive maintenance plan required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(2) The major system components of each occupied school building shall be rated in one of the following categories:
(i) Excellent: system is in new or like-new condition and functioning optimally. No remediation required. Requires only routine maintenance as identified in the building comprehensive maintenance plan.
(ii) Satisfactory: system is functioning reliably but routine maintenance and repair required.
(iii) Unsatisfactory: system is functioning unreliably or has exceeded its useful life. A corrective action plan is in place and repairs or replacement have been scheduled.
(iv) Non-functioning: system is non-functioning, not functioning as designed or is unreliable in ways that could endanger occupant health and/or safety. Repair or replacement of some or all components is needed.
(v) Critical failure: system is non-functioning, not functioning as designed, or is unreliable in ways that could endanger occupant health and/or safety. The condition of at least one component is so poor that at least part of the building or grounds should not be occupied pending repair/replacement of some or all components.
(3) Building system deficiencies shall be categorized as health and safety, structural, comfort, or aesthetic.
(4) The overall rating of the building shall be determined by a weighted system developed by the commissioner in consideration of paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subdivision and in accordance with the following categories:
(i) Excellent: all systems classified as health and safety or structural rated in overall excellent condition. No systems rated below satisfactory. Preventive maintenance plan in place.
(ii) Satisfactory: all systems classified as health and safety or structural rated in overall satisfactory or better condition. No systems rated non-functioning or critical failure.
(iii) Unsatisfactory: any system classified as health and safety or structural rated as unsatisfactory. No systems categorized as health and safety or structural rated non-functioning or credit failure.
(iv) Failing: any system classified as health and safety or structural rated non-functioning or critical failure. This rating shall result in the revocation of the building's certificate of occupancy.
(d) Monitoring system.
Boards of education and boards of cooperative educational services shall establish a process to monitor the condition of occupied public school buildings in order to assure that they are safe and maintained in a state of good repair. Such process shall include the following elements:
(1) Establishment of a health and safety committee comprised of representation from district officials, staff, bargaining units and parents.
(2) Establishment of a comprehensive maintenance plan for all major building systems to ensure the building is maintained in a state of good repair. Such plan shall include provisions for a least toxic approach to integrated pest management and establishing maintenance procedures and guidelines which will contribute to acceptable indoor air quality. The comprehensive maintenance plan shall be available for public inspection.
(3) The annual review and approval by the board of education or board of cooperative educational services of the annual building inspection reports and the five year building condition surveys.
(4) In the case of city school districts in cities having a population of 125,000 inhabitants or more, the annual review and approval by the board of education of district efforts for the care, custody, control and safekeeping of all school property as required by section 2554(4) of the Education Law.
(5) Procedures for assuring that an annual fire safety inspection of each building is conducted in accordance with section 807-a of the Education Law or applicable local laws or codes.
(6) Procedures for assuring that a current and valid certificate of occupancy is maintained for each building and posted in a conspicuous place. The New York City Board of Education shall post current and valid certificates of occupancy for buildings in accordance with the New York City building code and other applicable city regulations.
(7) Procedures for investigation and disposition of complaints related to health and safety. Such procedures shall involve the health and safety committee and at a minimum shall conform to the following requirements:
(i) Provide for a written response to all written complaints. Such written response shall describe:
(a) the investigations, inspections or tests made to verify the substance of the complaint, or a statement explaining why further investigations, inspections or tests are not necessary;
(b) the results of any investigations, inspections or tests which address the complaint;
(c) the actions, if any, taken to solve the problem; and
(d) the action, if any, taken if the complaint involved a violation of law or of a contract provision.
(ii) A copy of the response shall be forwarded to the health and safety committee.
(iii) Copies of all such correspondence shall be kept in a permanent project file.
(iv) Such records shall be made available to the public upon request.
(8) In the case of the New York City School District, the board of education shall report quarterly to the commissioner on the status of correcting violations issued by the New York City Department of Buildings. Such report shall indicate the progress made towards completing the projects identified in the educational facilities master plan.
(9) Every board of education and board of cooperative educational services shall take actions to immediately remedy serious conditions affecting health and safety in school buildings, and shall report such actions to the commissioner.
(10) All school construction and maintenance activities shall comply with the Uniform Safety Standards for School Construction and Maintenance Projects as set forth in section 155.5 of this Part.
8 CRR-NY 155.4
Current through July 15, 2021
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