Construction/Facility Safety 

Best Practices

As mandated in the Utah State LegislatureTitle 53E-3-7: School Construction, 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. 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 Public 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.

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


R277-454: Construction Management of School Building Projects
R277-471: School Construction Oversight, Inspections, Training and Reporting
Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Administrative Rules

Title 15A: State Construction and Fire Codes Act
Title 53E-3-707: School Building Construction and Inspection Manual, Annual Construction and Inspection Conference, Verification of School Construction Inspections
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 Seurity

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, of individual schools and school districts, was only required to be submitted in Fiscal Year 2013. Current reporting is included in the Utah State Board of Education Utah Consolidated Application (UCA) Compliance information in addition to emergency topics, and is reported at the administrative level to Utah State Board of Education. 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)

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

Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Utah Schools
State of Utah

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

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


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)

National Clearing House for Educational Facilities (NCEF):

National Council on School Facilities (NCSF):

School Science Facilities Planner
School Clearing House

United States Department of Education

Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management:

Utah State Labor Commission: