Monthly Archives: March 2016

Environmental Considerations When Planning and Building New Schools

One of the surest signs of a thriving community is the establishment of schools within its boundaries. It serves as a good indicator of growth among younger demographics, helping to ensure the future residency of the community, which can in turn be used as a tool to recruit commercial services to the area. Yet before area authorities can consider building a new K 12 school building special considerations need to be given on the impact that a new structure may have on the local environment, as well as how the features of that environment may affect students and faculty.

Adhering to Environmental Health and Safety Standards

As many school districts rely principally on state services to fund new construction projects, they are forced to adhere to the standards set forth by the state’s in which they are located to regulate the environmental health and safety impact that anew school may have. For example, in Utah, the state’s Administrative Code says that before a new school construction project can be considered, school districts must work hand in hand with local health departments to ensure the proposed site shall avoid an unhealthy influence from geographic and environmental features such as:

  • Freeways, highways, and high volume traffic areas
  • Airports and railways
  • Fugitive dust
  • Any areas where the potential for health hazards, auditory problems, and malodorous conditions may exist

The ultimate goal of these standards is to help ensure the safety of those attending and working at the school. At the same time, equal consideration may be given to the influence the placement of the school may have on the local area. This is particularly true if it’s proposed location in near conservation areas, or where critical habitats or protected species populations are found.

Given the many environmental implications to be considered when building a new school, an added emphasis needs to be placed on finding a construction management firm familiar with local and state regulations to oversee the project. Having participated in 284 school construction projects since 1990, Hogan Construction can offer that level of expertise. Concerns over balancing a school construction services with the project’s environmental impact can be put to rest with Hogan at the helm.