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Old April 17, 2019, 09:08 PM   #53
Aguila Blanca
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 15,130
Originally Posted by FireForged
Building the physical plant is not likely the problem, they will probably have a municipal/county project manager or 2 or 3, a facilities manager, a schools facilities superintendent, local fire departments to oversee fire code issues, local code enforcement liaisons and of course a architectural firm.
The physical plant IS part of the problem. It's one thing when planning a new building. When surveying an existing building, the building may very well be part of the problem, and a member of the survey team who knows how [for example] school locks work and what the codes require/allow could be important.

As for local architects? Let me provide an example from the real world:

Several years ago the high school in my home town was planning a major addition and renovation project. $30 million worth of construction ... back when $30 was real money. Much of the money was coming from a state grant, and the rules here are that if the state funds the construction, the state gets to review the plans for code compliance. But the law only gives the state 30 days to review the plans once they've been submitted. If the state can't do it in that time, they let the local building official do it.

That's what happened in my town. But it's a small town, with only one guy as the entire building department. He didn't have the time to review a $30 million construction project within a 30-day window. I'm licensed as a building inspector as well as an architect, so the town hired me to review the plans as a consultant to the building department. Fine.

This was about a year or maybe two years after Columbine. Security -- and the possibility of a school shooter -- was high on everyone's list of priorities. I attended some of the public meetings on the project. The public asked about it, and the school board assured them that every effort was being made to ensure safety and security.

So imagine my surprise when I opened up the plans and found that all the classrooms in the new addition were going to have glass sidelights next to the classroom doors. And not bullet-resistant glass (which is very heavy and VERY expensive), just the same tempered glass you'd find in any storefront near a door. This was not a code violation, so it was outside of my responsibility. Nonetheless, I was bothered by it enough that I went over to the police department and discussed it with the deputy chief. He agreed: "That's pretty stupid." So I took it to the school board, and they referred it to the architects.

The architects' response was, "But we like it." So that's the way it was built.

So I'm not impressed by mention of the superintendent, a facilities manager, or an architect. Security is a mindset, and if the players aren't committed to understanding security as opposed to paying lip service to it, they're not bringing anything worthwhile to the table.
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