Florida Department of Education 
CONTACT PERSON NAME: Jon Hamrick PHONE: (850)487-1130 October 31, 2001 SUNCOM: 277-1130 DPBM No.: 02-42 MEMORANDUM TO: District School Superintendents, Community College Presidents, and Educational Facilities Planners FROM: Wayne V. Pierson SUBJECT: Hurricane Shelters in New Educational Facilities The Department of Education has again been asked to reiterate the requirement that all construction of new educational facilities, including appropriate core facility additions to existing buildings, incorporate enhanced hurricane protection areas in their design. Section 235.26(8)(a), F.S., states the following: “A facility, or an appropriate core facility area within a facility, for which a design contract is entered into subsequent to the effective date of the inclusion of the public shelter criteria in the code must be built in compliance with the amended code unless the facility or a part thereof is exempted from using the new shelter criteria due to its location, size, or other characteristics by the applicable board with the concurrence of the applicable local emergency management agency or the Department of Community Affairs. Any educational facility located or proposed to be located in an identified category 1, 2, or 3 evacuation zone is not subject to the requirements of this subsection. If the regional planning council region in which the county is located does not have a hurricane evacuation shelter deficit, as determined by the Department of Community Affairs, school districts within the planning council region are not required to incorporate the public shelter criteria into their construction of educational facilities.” The State Requirements for Educational Facilities, Section 7(24)(a), and the Florida Building Code, Section 423(24)(a), provides: “New educational facilities for school boards and community college boards, unless specifically exempted by the board with the written concurrence of the applicable local emergency management agency or the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), shall have appropriate core facility areas designed as Enhanced Hurricane Protection Areas (EHPAs) in compliance with this section.” New educational facilities have been interpreted to mean “new construction,” as defined in Section 1.2(56), SREF, and Section 423(4)(h), Florida Building Code, which includes additions to existing buildings. There are three exceptions: 1) if the new work is specifically exempted in writing by the applicable local emergency management agency, 2) if the new building(s) or addition is located in a category 1, 2, or 3 evacuation zone, and 3) if the local regional planning council region does not have a shelter deficit. The exception for one shelter within a three- mile radius no longer exists. It is imperative that shelter space be provided in all appropriate new educational facilities so that the deficit in shelter space can be eliminated. In this light, you are encouraged to work with your county emergency management office prior to or during the development of a project to identify appropriate shelter space. The additional cost directly associated to the Enhanced Hurricane Protection Area (EHPA) is deducted from the total construction cost when applying for a SIT award. Please note that the October 2001 Audit Report Number 02-055 for Hurricane Shelters and Grant Management for the Department of Community Affairs has identified a lapse in enforcement of the shelter criteria by school districts and community colleges. Of the 164 constructed or newly planned facilities examined by the auditor, one-third did not comply with the required shelter requirements. WVP/jhi
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