School Construction Projects
In Virginia, local school divisions and school boards are responsible for developing the educational and architectural program specifications as well as determining the number and type of classroom spaces needed for a school construction project. All construction or renovation projects are subject to the provisions and requirements of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, which regulates the safety and welfare of school building occupants.
For public schools there is some oversight from the State Board of Education which offers guidance through the Standards of Accrediting Public Schools and the Standards of Quality in the areas of pupil-teacher ratios and school staffing requirements. "The Virginia Public School Facility Guidelines" was developed by the Office of School Facilities Services as a tool for public school planners and architects to use when designing schools.
The public school construction planning and submission process applies only to school building renovations or alterations that go beyond cosmetic changes and are subject to state and local building codes and reviews, and require that the construction documents bear the seal of a licensed engineer or architect. Once considered as a public school construction project, notice of the project and submission of plans and specifications to the Department of Education is required by the Code of Virginia.
Project Plan Submission
As required by the Code of Virginia, before beginning a public school construction or renovation project, notice of the project, letters of approval and plans and specifications must be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education.
Online Reporting of Construction Projects
VDOE has developed an online reporting application for public school construction projects using VDOE’s Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS). This new online system will replace the current hard-copy submission process for all public school construction projects. It is anticipated that this system will be available for use by March 1, 2010. For more information, see Superintendent's Memo #033-10.
School divisions will be able to submit the following information online:
- Submission notices and updates to new school construction or school building renovation projects
- Real-time tracking of the submission status of school construction projects;
- Construction project data and information on file with regards to existing school facilities and school sites; and
- Submission of project cost data, which will be used to automatically generate the annual school construction cost report.
- Architect/Engineer Project Statement (PDF)
- Division Superintendent Approval (PDF)
- Project Requirement Checklist for Virginia school divisions (Word)
- Project Requirement Timeline for Virginia school divisions (Word)
Architectural School Plan Records
The Office of School Facilities Services maintains an inventory of construction plans as well as public school construction projects dating back for more than fifty years. These archival records are maintained at VDOE offices in Richmond and are open to the public. The past practice of microfilming architectural drawings has given way to archiving electronic versions (PDF) on a standard compact disc, or CD. It is possible to view these records and make reproducible prints from the microfilm or PDF files. For information, please contact Hunter Barnes or A. K. (Vijay) Ramnarain at 804-225-2035.