School Access Safety Design Guidelines

Safe Entrance.jpgDuring the June 3, 2013 quarterly meeting of the School Building Authority, the Authority adopted several revisions to the SBA Quality and Performance Manual as it relates to the requirements of school access safety. These minimum safety requirements are to be included in the designs of all projects funded after the date of adoption.

For your convenience, below is a summary of the Quality and Performance language that shall be incorporated into grant recipients’ projects. Please ensure your respective design professionals incorporate these items into the building designs.

*Note: All criteria referenced from the SBA Quality & Performance Standards Manual
Section I – Design Documents/Instruments of Service
Review and Approvals
  • Upon request, the State Office of Homeland Security may review the building design. 
Project Closeout
  • Provide electronic and hard copies of diagrammatic floor plans of new or renovated schools that show one line data with all school access safety data. (Also, submit an electronic copy to the Office of Homeland Security)
Section III – Typical Design Criteria
Site Design Criteria
  • Where emergency access roads are required around and thru grassed site areas, provide a paved area constructed of a flexible porous paving “Grass Pave” grid system or similar detail, where possible. 
  • Bollards, sufficient enough to stop a passenger vehicle traveling 25 mph, shall be installed at all entrances accessible by vehicular traffic.  Bollards shall be spaced in a manner necessary to prevent vehicular entrance to the facility, yet provide adequate space for occupants to exit.
Building Design Criteria
  • Design professionals shall incorporate design elements in accordance with the School Access Safety Plan
  • Elements of the “Crime Prevention through Environmental Design” concept shall also be incorporated.  Where risk and vulnerability assessments are conducted, incorporate recommendations into the design.
  • All new school designs shall incorporate numbering graphics on all exterior doors made of a reflective material that are legible from a distance of 200’ in low light conditions.
  • The interior of all exterior doors shall have this same corresponding number located on the door that is legible from within the building area to occupants.
  • Administrative offices shall be oriented adjacent to the main entry vestibule with direct line of sight to the main building entrance and parking areas.  Where possible, the administrative offices shall have line of sight to all site access roads.
  • Provide security foyer at main entrance with locked exterior entry doors, controlled from the general office.
  • A separate visitor entrance and waiting area shall be designed adjacent to the main entrance.
  • Provide a pass-thru transaction window constructed of security glass from waiting area to the general office.
  • Design strategies shall incorporate School Access Safety Plan requirements.
  • Cafeteria/commons area shall be separated from the main entrance and administrative office by use of mechanically operated access doors. Additionally, all academic spaces shall be separated from common building spaces by use of similar doors. All doors shall remain in open position during normal school functions with the capability to be closed and locked mechanically from the office area.
  • Technology system shall include, and provide for, a school access, safety and security system. The cost for additional video surveillance equipment beyond the building access security system will be the responsibility of the county board or grant recipient. 
Section IV – Building Systems and Materials
Doors, Windows, and Window Walls
  • All glazing at exterior entry doors and sidelights shall be constructed of security glass from the finished floor elevation to a point 7’-0” above finished floor.
  • All exterior doors, not intended as a means of ingress, shall have panic exiting devices installed on the interior and no exterior hardware. 
Main Entrance Doors and Frames
  • 1/4” Security Glass Infill
Fixed Interior Frames 
  • All glazing shall be tempered safety glass, Category II ANSI Z97.1. 
Classroom Equipment
Security System 
  • Security system shall be tied to a network wiring system for access door control and shall include video monitoring.
  • Video monitoring system shall be tied to a network wiring system for monitoring of school interior public spaces, corridors, commons, gym, library, kitchen and all exterior entry door locations.  Video monitoring software shall be added to all administrative office staff computer workstations to allow office staff to monitor facility at all times.
  • Security system shall be tied to the emergency power system if emergency power system is provided.  Battery backup shall be provided for stand-alone systems.
  • Security system shall monitor the open/close status of all exterior doors.  An alert shall be sent to the administrative office staff in the event a door is left in the open position.
  • Security system shall notify emergency responders immediately upon activation in the event of a crisis situation.
  • All school access safety data shall be provided to the State Office of Homeland Security in an electronic format.
Image Above: Edgewood Elementary School in Kanawha County courtesy of ZMM Architects & Engineers