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Schools Need Qualified Plan Review and Inspections

Kyle Leonard

When a building is being constructed or modified, or an addition to an existing building is constructed within a community, municipal plan examiners will review the construction documents prior to issuing a permit. Building inspectors will visit the site at various times to ensure contractors are producing a safe and durable structure; adhering to the approved documents.

Schools Plan Review and Inspection

According to school code, school boards must have its school buildings surveyed by an Illinois licensed design professional in conformance with the School Code every 10 years.

It may surprise some people to know that when a school facility is being constructed, the village is not responsible for reviewing building plans or inspecting the facility during construction. According to Illinois school code, plan reviews and code inspections are required, but school boards must obtain the services of qualified plan examiners and inspectors. This is to ensure that the appropriate forms are sent to the Regional Superintendent of Schools prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. “Confirmation of Plan Review Records” is a form used prior to obtaining a permit from the Regional Office of Education. “Called Inspection Records”are forms used during an inspection to capture information regarding compliance and noncompliance with approved construction documents. Both the “Confirmation of Plan Review Records”, and the “Called Inspections Records”, must show the Illinois licensed design professional signature and license number, or ISBE qualified Plan Reviewer/Inspector’s signature and ISBE ID number to proceed to the next phase of the project.

According to school code, school boards must have its school buildings surveyed by an Illinois licensed design professional in conformance with the School Code every 10 years. There are more than 3,800 Pre-K through 12 facilities in Illinois that were constructed prior to 1995.

Assuring that school buildings meet the highest standards of construction to make sure students are safe within their school building is a task school officials do not take lightly. These officials are faced with tight budgets and building time tables that must be met so students can use the facilities as soon as possible. The task of working with construction firms to combine the need for safety, and the ability to meet deadlines becomes paramount.

The codes which regulate Pre-K through 12 public school construction in Illinois are comprised of dozens of volumes in general categories broken down into hundreds of chapter topics with thousands of pages of prescriptive requirements, restrictions and exceptions, and hundreds of appendices and resources for use in investigation and evaluation of new and existing construction.

To be qualified to review plans and conduct inspections, an individual must have current International Code Council (ICC) certification as a Master Code Professional or ICC certification in a specific requested discipline qualification (i.e. Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Energy, Fire), PLUS written certification of at least 4,000 hours of training or experience involving plan reviews, inspection, design, construction, or maintenance of commercial buildings for compliance with applicable commercial building codes, or evidence of Illinois licensure as a design professional or structural engineer, or evidence that the individual holds: a bachelors degree in architecture, engineering, or construction with written certification at least 1,000 hours of training or experience in one of those fields or project management, or a bachelor’s degree in a field other than architecture, engineering, or construction with written certification at least 2,000 hours of training or experience in one of those fields or project management.

Schools Plan Review and Inspection

HR Green’s Governmental Services professionals review and keep up with these changes and are qualified by the Illinois State Board of Education to provide plan review and building inspections.

Keeping up with changes in school code could be a full time job. HR Green, Inc.’s Governmental professionals review and keep up with these changes and are qualified by the Illinois State Board of Education to provide plan review and building inspections. In addition, because HR Green is an engineering firm with experts in all phases of construction, public and private; their inspectors know the importance of efficient, timely approvals as well as the deep responsibility of providing safe facilities for our children.

A professional building code compliance partner can bring the proper expertise to each step of a project, be flexible and proactive in dealing with clients’ needs, and improve communication and coordination.

To learn more about how we can assist your community, contact Frank Urbina at 815.759.8389 or e-mail him at furbina@hrgreen.com

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