Draft Requirements for School Upgrades Released

Earlier this week, MACo received information on new draft requirements for school upgrades from colleagues at the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE).

The Public School Construction Program and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) recently released a joint memorandum concerning the draft procedure on the Emergency Shelter Compliance process.  As described in the draft procedure, if a school submits an application for a construction project that includes electrical improvements to a major portion of the facility, the school will have to comply with new procedures requiring back-up power generation hook-ups. The new process mandate inspections and review by MEMA to determine whether the facility can be used as a shelter.

COMAR 23.03.02.29 would state that,

for every school that undertakes a project involving a replacement or upgrade of the electrical system, the LEA [Local Education Agency] is required to consult with MEMA to determine which area of the school may be used for public shelter in the event of a national, state, or local emergency event.  In addition, the public school construction project is to include the capability to fully power those areas designated by MEMA.

The opportunity to appeal the MEMA designation is limited to MEMA’s review based on a second assessment.  As stated in the draft, “The LEA will then be asked the replicate the Process and MEMA will coordinate an additional site assessment in accordance with the requirements…The Executive Director of MEMA will then make the final determination based off of both site assessments.”

A section of the Facility Planners Meeting scheduled for today, Thursday, September 12, at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick will allow for discussion of new requirements for school upgrades.  Representatives of the Governor’s Office, the Department of Human Resources, and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will attend the meeting to answer questions.

For more information, see the joint memorandum, the draft procedure, or contact your local school facility planner.

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