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HFM BOCES reopening plan available

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In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the BOCES, facilities operations will be geared toward meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. Plans for changes or additions to facilities that require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), will be submitted to comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code.

The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.

  • The BOCES will remain in compliance with the 2020 Building Condition Survey and Visual Inspection requirements and mandates.
  • The BOCES will conduct the Lead-In-Water Testing as required by NYS DOH regulation 67-4 prior to the December 2020 deadline.
  • All new and existing alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers are in compliance with FCNYS 2020 Section 5705.5.

Facility Alterations and Acquisition

If alterations to the configuration of existing classrooms/learning spaces or the introduction of temporary and/or movable partitions are required to maintain social distancing, all changes will comply with the requirements of the 2020 NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Code. All applicable changes will be submitted to OFP, the local municipality and/or code enforcement officials for review.

  • If any means of egress, fire alarm system, ventilation or lighting are affected, required standards will be maintained in the reconfiguration of classrooms and offices. If relocation of walls or modification of a structure is required, OFP will be notified.
  • If alterations are needed, HFM BOCES will consult our architect and submit floor plans to OFP for approval. COVID-19 projects shall be indicated as “COVID-19 Reopening” when submitted to the OFP. This will allow NYSED to expedite those reviews.

HFM BOCES may utilize available space in the cafeteria, gymnasium, and library (or sections thereof), as classroom spaces. Minor alterations and the use of space dividers may be utilized in existing classrooms. BOCES will be in full compliance with the 2020 BCNYS Section 2606 requirements for the use of plastic (polycarbonate) separators (dividers/sneeze guards).

  • Should the installation of movable partitions (gym, cafeteria) become necessary, the BOCES will submit an abbreviated Form FP-AU Request for approval.
  • If the installation of dividers is required to use cafeterias, libraries, auditoriums and gymnasiums as learning spaces, a floor plan of the entire room showing the furniture layout with egress aisles shall be submitted to OFP for approval. Lighting, ventilation, means of egress, and fire alarm coverage will be indicated in the submission.

Space Expansion

If space expansion becomes necessary due to COVID-19, BOCES will ensure that all new building construction and/or temporary quarter projects will be submitted to OFP for review (e.g., building additions, lease space, transportable classroom units or spaces such as tents).

The following requirements apply to all spaces that will be occupied by BOCES staff and students:

  • Code Review: Per statute, NYSED’s Office of Facilities Planning must review and approve the above types of projects to ensure that the proposed spaces meet the fire code.
  • Offsite Lease Requirements: For offsite facilities, BOCES will contact our project manager at NYSED Office of Facilities Planning (OFP) and submit a Temporary Quarters (TQ) Project submission.

To ensure that these sites meet all requirements, TQ submissions require submission of:

  • OFP Form FP_AU-Request for Approval of Use of a Facility
  • Architectural quality floor plan
  • Site plans
  • AHERA Plan
  • Fire Safety Report
  • Confirmation of Americans with Disabilities Act compliance
  • Local Code Authority Certificate of Occupancy
  • Approval of use of space

Please note:

  • If a Change of Occupancy in the Existing Building Code applies (e.g., office or B-occupancy to E-occupancy) code requirements such as rescue windows; accessibility; fire protection systems such as sprinkler or emergency voice alarm communication systems; ventilation may make it infeasible.
  • HFM BOCES will identify COVID-19 Projects as “COVID-19 Reopening” when required materials are submitted to OFP for review.
  • HFM BOCES will contact OFP for a preliminary evaluation of all facilities under consideration for leasing. All leased facilities will be submitted to OFP for review and approval.
    HFM BOCES will consult with our architect/engineer of record.

Tents for Additional Space

If tenting becomes a temporary or permanent use, the following will be considered.

  • Tents, both temporary and permanent are regulated by code and will be submitted for a building permit.
  • Temporary structures and tents are those erected for 180 days or less. The Building Code Section 3103.1 indicates, “tents and membrane structures erected for a period of less than 180 days shall comply with the Fire Code of NYS”.
  • The Fire Code (FC) Chapter 31 contains extensive requirements for Tents and Other Membrane Structures. FC Section 3103.2 indicates that a permit and approval of temporary tents is required. FC Section 3103 contains requirements for temporary tents and Section 3104 has requirements for permanent tents. They include requirements for construction documents, access roads, location, seating plans, means of egress, illumination, exit signs, construction, use.

Permanent tents are considered a membrane structure and are regulated by Building Code Section 3102 and other applicable sections. If the use of a tent is necessary, BOCES will consult with our design professional to prepare submission drawings for approval by OFP.

  • The following information will be shown on the drawings: Dimensions, Minimum separation distance to other structures, Tent sides (yes) (no), Duration of use, Type of use/activity, Anchor- age, Number of Exits, Width of each exit, Table/Chair/Contents, layout, Fire extinguisher Location, Occupant load, Heating or Cooking equipment, Utilities, Exit signs, NFPA 701 testing/label/certification.

If a tent is used for E-occupancy, BOCES will consult our architect of record, local municipalities and/or code enforcers provide code-compliant design for mechanical heat and ventilation; lighting; emergency lighting; power; fire alarm; plumbing; etc., as required.

HFM BOCES will consult our architect and submit to OFP for approval. HFM BOCES will provide an architectural quality floor plan, which clearly indicates existing and proposed use of space showing the furniture layout with egress aisles. Lighting, ventilation, means of egress, and fire alarm coverage will be indicated.

Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures

HFM BOCES will ensure that the minimum number of toilet fixtures required by building code will be available for use. BOCES will ensure social distancing rules are adhered to by using signage, occupied markers (if applicable), or other methods to reduce restroom occupancy at any given time, where feasible.

HFM BOCES will be in full compliance for providing potable water for all building occupants. Water fountains at our main campus are being converted to bottle filler units.
Water fixtures at our main campus are operated daily during the cleaning process to continually move water though the system.

HFM BOCES will continue to utilize a method of “Best Practices” to keep in step with any DOH revisions due to COVID-19.


Adequate, code required mechanical ventilation will be maintained as designed.

  • Ventilation at our main campus will be modified via available programming through our Building Environmental Control system to obtain the optimum desired results, while also maintaining NYSED required temperatures within all occupied and unoccupied spaces.
  • Proper filtration for current mandated requirements will be met as they are revised.

New Technology for Air Purification

BOCES will submit any new ventilation technology due to COVID-19 to OFP for review and approval.