"Progress lies not in enhancing
                       what is, but in advancing toward
                       what will be."
                                              Kahlil Gibran

                                         Designing Maine’s Schools for
                                             Tomorrow’s Students

                                                    AUGUST 2005

  P:\DOE\EDUCATION WEB\const\pw029.doc

        INTRODUCTION ........................................................................3

I.      SCHOOL SITES.........................................................................5

II.     BUILDING EXTERIOR...............................................................9

III     BUILDING INTERIOR ................................................................11

IV.     TECHNOLOGY ..........................................................................20

V.      SECURITY .................................................................................22

VI.     BUILDING SYSTEMS ................................................................24

VII.    HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS...........................................25

VIII.   DESIGN PRINCIPLES ...............................................................27

IX.     MISCELLANEOUS ....................................................................28

The following document has been developed by the Department of Education with assistance
from practicing design professionals to assist school units and their architects in public school
design. Under the Essential Programs and Services Model, the State will participate in almost
every debt service cost for Major Capital Construction and Renovation that has received State
Board of Education approval. Under the new funding formula a local unit will only need to raise
about eight mills and the State will pay the additional costs including operating, special
education, student transportation, and approved debt service. With this deep financial
involvement by the State, the Department of Education has a responsibility to assure that
projects meet certain criteria.

It has become very evident that although the State has declining enrollments, there is still an
extensive need for new and renovated school facilities. Many of the older schools in Maine do
not meet the program needs of today’s complex curricula. The older schools tend to be costly
to maintain and very energy inefficient and they do not meet today’s code standards especially
for the handicapped individual. There are also many safety issues both within and outside of
older school buildings.

One of the major objectives of the State is to address as many projects as possible within the
limited financial resources at both the State and local levels.

Another high priority is to construct or renovate buildings that will have a life span of 50 to 75
years. Many will probably serve a school system for 100 years or more. This is foremost in
addressing the interior and exterior finishes to be used in school buildings.

There are other objectives that were considered in preparing this document. They include but
are not limited to operating costs, expandability, flexibility, maintenance costs, and capital
renewal costs.

The State recognizes that the development of the plans and specifications for a new school is a
partnership between the State and officials at the local level led by the architect of record.
Either party making decisions without the involvement of the other party will lead to conflicts and
possibly to a project that becomes stalled. A cooperative approach will assure a smooth

The State recognizes that school buildings will differ because of the school system educational
program and the school system’s internal organization. The design of the building will also be
somewhat determined by the school site, traffic patterns and other external factors. Although
the one-design-fits-all approach is not acceptable, the following document attempts to
standardize quality considerations and design simplicity. School units that wish to incorporate
architectural elements that exceed this standard shall do so at local expense without State
subsidy support. Local units that wish to exceed the State’s size standards shall also do so at
local expense.

The State holds as a very high priority the development of quality educational spaces that will
meet the educational needs of students in Maine schools. The spaces should be flexible in
order that both the present programs and future programs can be housed in an appropriate
manner to meet the needs of an ever-changing public school curriculum.

The standards and guidelines will be used by state officials when reviewing architectural
drawings. The state further recognizes that all of the elements in this booklet cannot be
incorporated into a school without additional funding beyond the limited state construction
budget. This document is intended to stimulate discussion. These discussions will hopefully
lead to the inclusion of the most appropriate elements that meet the unique needs of a specific

The State recognizes that there will be constant modifications to this document as new
technologies and products enter the construction market. Design professionals are encouraged
to discuss new approaches, technologies, and materials with State officials as they come to
their attention.

Finally, many of the design decisions should be based on a life cycle analysis that considers
energy use, first cost, operational cost, equipment life, quality mechanical systems, and building
materials. Consideration should also be given to materials that can be recycled and are not
hazardous to the environment.

The Department hopes this document assists in the development of quality school projects. For
further information contact Scott Brown, Director of School Facilities, at the Department of

 I. School Sites

Extensive site enhancements shall be at local expense. Separate site
bids will be considered on a project-by-project basis.

Site Safety
     Avoid obstructions on the site that limit clear and unobstructed sight lines.
     Provide light colored paving of surfaces at building exits and entrances.
     Above ground gas and oil tanks should be located away from buildings. Bollards,
     berming, or fencing may be required for security reasons. Ideally locate infrastructure
     below ground (see Security section).
     Involve local officials, including fire, police, and others in the initial site design.
     Consider how an emergency evacuation will be conducted including exterior staging
     areas and bus loading configurations.
     Avoid site walks that link to high-speed roads or highways.

Vehicular Circulation
     Consider snow removal, maintenance, and safety when laying out parking areas.
     Minimize islands and other obstructions whenever possible.
     Separate car and bus traffic and consider pedestrian safety in the planning process.
     Keep building fresh air intakes away from vehicle exhaust fumes and other sources of air
     pollutants and take into consideration the path of prevailing winds.
     Curbing at the bus drop offs, student drop offs, and other radial turns shall be granite
     whenever possible.
     Install speed control measures in locations of long straight ways or other areas where
     excessive speeds may be reached.
     The design should accommodate occasional tractor-trailer services.
     Avoid locating vehicular drop-off area on the north side of the building whenever

Service and Emergency Vehicles
     Separate service vehicles from areas on the site where students congregate.
     Separate from car and bus traffic whenever possible.
     Allow emergency vehicles to access necessary areas of the site.
     Dumpster location, transformers, and access to kitchen deliveries should be
     appropriately located (see Security section).
     Secondary access should be developed at the school site for emergency vehicles
     whenever possible.
     The radius of turns shall accommodate emergency vehicles and buses.
     Consider enclosing dumpster with an 8’ chain link fence with a lockable door for visual
     Dumpster location and design should encourage and maximize recycling.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation
     Provide safe access for pedestrian and bicycle circulation from the site entrances to the
     Provide clearly marked safe crossings.
     Provide pathways to playgrounds and athletic facilities that avoid vehicular traffic.
     Provide adequate bicycle storage racks.
     Locally required off-site improvements shall be at local expense.

     A drainage system shall be designed that keeps moisture away from the building and
     keeps the grounds and play areas free of standing water.
     Consider fencing drainage ponds.
     Avoid designs that create water flow across sidewalks from snowmelt whenever

Playgrounds and Playfields
     Field orientation and other standards – refer to National Association of Secondary
     School Principals.
     Athletic and play areas that exceed the Department of Education’s minimum standards
     shall be at local expense.
     State support for athletic playfields will be limited to:
         o Playground equipment budgets shall be based on $160 per student. Schools of
             less than 300 students will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
         o Elementary School – hard and soft play areas; size proportional to school size.
         o Play area surfaces must meet ADA and OSHA standards.
         o For grades pre-K – 3 a soft surface play area is appropriate.
         o Surfaces are usually shredded hard wood or other approved surface.
         o Shredded wood shall comply with ADA standards.
         o Play areas must be well drained to avoid mold and bacteria growth.
         o Simple forms and shapes shall be used to accommodate snow removal and
         o Play equipment should be of aluminum or high impact plastics.
         o Playground design should conform to ASTM (American Society for Testing
             Materials) standards and the publication by the National Principals Association.
         o Equipment and play area surfaces should meet the standards published by the
             Consumer Product Safety Commission.
         o Approved athletic program will determine facilities to be considered for
         o For grades 4 – 6 a little league field and an overlapping all purpose field is
         o Grades 6 – 8 a softball field, a baseball field, and an overlapping all purpose field
             is appropriate.
         o For high schools the number of athletic fields will be considered based upon the
             school’s athletic programs.
         o Schools that have unique circumstances shall be dealt with on a case-by-case

          o   Off-site athletic and play field facilities may be considered.
          o   Playfields should be oriented properly to minimize glare.
          o   Fencing shall be limited to:
                      Baseball backstops and fencing shall extend to first and third base.
                      Hazardous and dangerous areas.
          o   Bleachers, lighting, concession stands, irrigation systems, scoreboards, and
              drinking fountains shall be at local expense.
          o   Conduit for future power to fields will be considered.

     Typically, the state funded plantings budget will be limited to .1% of the building cost
     (budget line 1).
     Annual plantings shall be at local expense.
     Allocate funds toward main entrance, buffering, building and site cooling.
     Avoid plantings that create a security/visibility issue.
     Consider long-lived plantings.
     Features such as decorative elements must be at local expense.
     Use native plants whenever possible.
     Trees should be located a minimum of 12 feet from the building.
     A tree with a drip area of 40 feet or more should be at least 30 feet from the building.

     State support for parking will be limited to:
        o Elementary school: staff and visitor parking.
        o Middle School/Jr. High School: staff and visitor parking.
        o High School: one (1) space for every three (3) students.
        o Additional parking will be at local expense.
        o Locally-mandated parking above these standards will be at local expense.
        o Consider preferred car-pooling spaces for staff with designated spaces located
            convenient to the staff entrance.
        o Grades in parking areas should be kept to 3% or less and access drives should
            be kept to 5% whenever possible.

Building Orientation
     Buildings should be orientated to maximize day lighting and have an identifiable
     Building security guidelines should be followed whenever possible.
     Buildings should be located on the site in a way that minimizes the environmental impact
     to the site and the construction process.

Site Size and Location
      State Board of Education Chapters 60 and 61 define the parameters of Site Selection.
      Written communication from State and local agencies as defined in the State’s flow chart
      are required.
      Sites should be large enough to allow for future expansion whenever possible.
      Building expansion area shall be noted on drawings.

      Sites with public water, sewer, 3-phase power, and fiber optics service are
      Off-site development of utilities may be at local expense.
      Impact fees for water, sewer, etc., will be at local expense.

Off-Site Improvements
      Locally required off-site sidewalks and bicycle paths will be at local expense.
      Other off-site improvements may also be at local expense.
      Road improvements that are dictated by the Department of Transportation may be
      considered as a project expense.
      Locally-mandated improvements that are off site will be at local expense.

 II. Building Exterior

Building Configuration
     Building footprint, configuration, and structural grid must be simple and straightforward.
     The State prefers multi-level buildings to reduce the size of the building envelope.
     Both interior and exterior walls shall be straight, and unnecessary corners and complex
     configurations shall be avoided.

     Primary roof structure shall be a low-pitch system (“flat roof” system). Pitched roofs will
     be at local expense unless it can be demonstrated that the pitched roof is economically
     Pitched roofs over entrances or other small specialized areas may be acceptable.
     Durable roofing materials are required.
     Avoid the use of scuppers except as overflow drains.
     Building and site design shall keep water, snow, and ice away from entrances and
     Roof drainage systems shall be designed to prevent water from draining down or
     splashing against exterior walls.
     Minimize changes in roof levels.
     Roof penetrations shall be kept to a minimum.
     Roof hatches should be large enough to accommodate an individual equipped with full
     emergency gear.
     In accordance with the National Department of Energy standards a roof should not be
     black or very dark in color.
     Whenever possible roof should be made accessible by alternate stairs rather than by

Exterior Walls
     Primary exterior walls must be of masonry materials that do not require paint or sealers.
     Other materials where masonry applications are not appropriate shall be of high
     durability and low maintenance.
     Weep holes in masonry walls must be unobstructed and be 8” to 12” above finish grade.
     Exterior walls should be constructed with a continuous water drainage plane that
     redirects rainwater back to the outdoors and a continuous air barrier system.
     Masonry products, detailing, and patterns should be simple and cost effective in design.
     Flashing details will be designed to insure that water infiltration will not occur.
     Lintels shall be simple in design.
     Paper products that support mold growth when wetted shall not be used in exterior walls.
     Avoid scattering refrigeration compression/condenser units along exterior walls.

Doors and Windows
     Windows shall be commercial grade with prefinished exterior surfaces.
     Where operable windows are required, double-hung windows are preferred.
     Doors and windows shall have high-performance glazing, for the orientation of the
     Hardware shall be of a commercial grade.
     Exterior hollow metal doors and frames shall be galvanized steel or prefinished
     Interior and exterior doors shall have a welded metal frame in new construction...

Building Entrance
     Specify light colored finishes around building entrances.
     Major entrances shall have airlock vestibules.
     Main entrance doors shall be controllable from a remote location such as the
     administrative office.
     Date blocks and building plaques are encouraged.
     Canopies will be allowed at exterior doors.
     All doors shall be numbered sequentially with large numbers evident on both the exterior
     and interior of each door.
     Front entrances shall be protected with bollards or other appropriate obstructions.
     The use of metal grates at building entrances is encouraged.
     Materials at entrance shall be durable and moisture resistant.
     Primary building entrances shall be highly visible from the administrative suite with a
     communication system between the vestibule and the office.
     Install a panic/duress alarm or call button at the receptionist’s desk.

Building Foundations
     A footer drainage system shall be designed to keep water away from the building.
     Underdrains to take water away from the building foundations are required when
     Provide a vapor barrier at first floor foundation and slabs, tape all joints and adhere to
     the foundation walls.
     Provide a passive radon venting system.
     Whenever possible provide a minimum of 12” difference of grade between the finished
     first floor slab and finished exterior grade.
     Foundations shall be insulated to a minimum of R-10.
     Place entry slabs on a full foundation.
     Provide waterproofing of foundation on the exterior of concrete walls that are below

 III. Building Interior

Plan Configuration
       Educational program and relationship of program elements will influence the building
       Interior wall layout must be simple and straightforward. Curved or complex walls will be
       paid for at local expense.
       Academic areas should be separated from high activity and high noise areas.
       Mechanical rooms and equipment must be separated acoustically from occupied areas.
       Zone the building for public and after hours use.
       Roof mounted mechanical systems should be avoided.
       Whenever possible, classroom walls should extend to the deck.

Schools should be designed to be as flexible as possible to accommodate future changes in the
methods of delivery of education. Building designs should allow for future expansion.

       Schools should have a variety of room sizes.
       Spaces such as cafeterias should be designed to accommodate multiple uses.
       Schools should be equipped with communication cable trays for major distribution areas.
       Double doors between classroom areas and moveable partitions should be considered.
       Learning spaces should be designed to support traditional and hands-on learning
       Rooms should be organized to support both small and large group activities.

A.     Building Circulation and Service Spaces

       Buildings should be designed with only one elevator whenever possible.
       Service entrances should be open to vendors for off-hour deliveries and shall be isolated
       to avoid full building access.
       Stairwells, except for emergency egress, must be constructed of masonry unless
       otherwise approved.
       Stairs that are not required will be at local expense.
       Monumental stairs, if included, must be located in the lobby area and must be simple
       and straightforward in terms of design.
       Widths of stairways will be designed to assure a smooth transition of students between
       building levels.
       Preferred floor finishes include rubber tile, ceramic tile, or other approved durable
       materials. Carpet and vinyl composition tile are not permitted on stairs.
       Building design should minimize circulation space.
       Vinyl composition tile should be avoided on landings and ramps.

As a general guideline consideration should be given to the following corridor widths:

       Corridors serving more than 2 classrooms - 8 feet wide.
       Corridors serving more than eight classrooms – 9 feet wide.
       Corridors serving assembly areas – 10 feet for grades K-8 and 12 feet for grades 9-12.
       Corridors with lockers on one side – add 2 feet.
       Corridors with lockers on both sides – add 3 feet.

       Corridors must be constructed of masonry, tile, or other durable finishes.
       Lockers should be sized appropriately to accommodate backpacks and should be
       located appropriately for safety and visibility.
       Welded lockers are preferred.
       Extensive soffits and ceiling detailing shall be at local expense.
       Basic signage is acceptable. Decorative or excessive signage shall be at local expense.
       Electrical panels should not be installed in corridors.
       Extensive glass applications in corridors should be avoided.
       Corridors should be easily observable for administration and security reasons and areas
       that provide hiding spaces should be avoided.
       Display cases in corridors shall be constructed with safety glass.

       Lobbies must be of durable materials.
       Excessive volume in lobbies shall be avoided.
       Lobbies should be designed to control access to various sections of the building.
       Whenever possible, the main lobby should serve as many gathering places as possible
       (gym, cafeteria, auditorium, etc.).

Custodial and Storage Spaces
       Custodial and storage spaces should serve multiple sections of the building.
       In multi-story buildings custodial spaces should serve each floor.
       Include adequate electro-mechanical repair and storage space.

Chemical Storage
       Chemical storage for both custodial and academic use should be in separate locations
       and located on the building perimeter wall for ventilation.
       Walls shall be full height to the underside of deck to contain odors.
       Provide separate exhaust system away from intake louvers.

       Bathroom floors shall be of tile or seamless finish.
       If tile, specify larger grout lines
       Bathroom walls shall be tile wainscot or masonry block.
       Bathrooms shall have solid ceilings to avoid hiding spaces.

     Use masonry block walls whenever possible for toilet partitions.
     Gang bathrooms should have floor drains and sloping floor.
     Bathrooms shall have water saving fixtures.
     When masonry partitions are not possible, use a plastic or other non-corrosive material.
     Toilet partition stalls should include triangular shaped cross members to discourage
     students hanging from them.
     Place all heating fixtures and piping high on walls to avoid damage, rust, vandalism, etc.
     Airport style access ways are preferred in gang bathrooms.

Building Storage
     Storage areas should be located throughout the building.
     Appropriate storage areas should be located adjacent to the kitchen, the cafeteria, and
     the gym.
     Consideration should be given to outside athletic and maintenance storage.

Mechanical Rooms
     Mechanical rooms should be designed with access for equipment replacement.
     Mechanical rooms require designs that are sensitive to sound transmission, vibration,
     and noise in learning areas.
     Mechanical rooms should be centrally located in the building to minimize air distribution
     system sizes and runs.
     Roof mounted systems should be avoided.
     Intake louvers should not be located near chimneys, vehicular exhaust areas, and all
     other possible contaminated areas.
     If a roof intake system is used, it shall be at least 50 feet from dark colored surfaces.
     Where possible, air intakes should be taken from the north side of the building.
     Air vents should be designed to allow wind blown snow and rain to capture and drain to
     a proper drain to prevent clogging. Caution should be taken to flash appropriately.

Recycling Room
     Recycling room should be located near the service access entrance.
     Creativity and integration of recycling program into the building design is strongly

B.   Non-Instructional Spaces
     The administrative office should be located at the main entrance of the building and
     should be designed to have visual control of the main entrance and the building
     approach area.
     The administrative office should be designed to become the electronic security control
     center of the building.
     The office should be located to optimize the visual supervision of the building interior,
     security vestibule, and the approach to the building.
     The administrative suite should contain a fire resistant records storage room or file.

     The administrative suite should contain public areas and other areas designed for
     Typical finishes include gypsum or masonry walls, carpets or tile floors, and acoustical
     ceiling tile ceilings.
     Administrative layouts should permit easy access to the internal structure of the building.
     Air conditioning should be considered for the administrative suite.
     A secondary location should be identified and wired for administrative function in case
     the main entrance becomes inoperable in emergency situations.

     A guidance area typically contains conference, library, office, display, and storage areas.
     A guidance suite requires individual and small group spaces with confidentiality as a
     high consideration.
     Space consideration should be given to social service functions.
     Typical finishes include gypsum or masonry walls, carpets or tile floors, and acoustical
     ceiling tile ceilings.

Teachers’ Workroom
     Teachers’ workrooms should be well ventilated to avoid air contamination.
     Consideration should be given to work stations.
     The room should support a large table area.
     Gypsum or masonry walls, tile or carpeted floor and acoustical ceiling tile ceiling are

Teachers’ Break Room
     Consideration should be given to a kitchenette, toilet facilities, a lounge area with
     comfortable furniture, and a space with table and chairs.
     Gypsum or masonry walls, tile or carpet floor, and acoustical ceiling tile ceiling are
     Adult toilets should be incorporated or located adjacent to the lounge.

Health Clinic
     The clinic should be located near the administrative suite for parent pick up and
     The clinic should provide a lockable medicine storage cabinet and refrigerator.
     The clinic should provide examination, cot, and shower areas.
     The clinic should provide an office environment for the nurse’s work area.
     Typical finishes in wet areas may include moisture resistant gypsum board walls or
     ceramic tile walls, resilient sheet, ceramic, or quarry tile floors, and acoustical ceiling tile

     Adhere to the Maine Food Code.
     Wall finishes must be a hard washable, durable surface such as drop highlight plastic
     panels or other approved material.
     Ceiling finishes must be a washable durable surface such as moisture resistant gypsum
     board or other approved material.
     Floor finishes must be a hard washable, durable, slip resistant surface such as quarry
     tile, sealed concrete or poured epoxy floors. All floors must have floor drains.
     Avoid electrical floor outlets.
     Specify mobile equipment for flexibility and standard sized tables and counters.
     Kitchen office and stock room need to be secure.
     Provide for network capability for inventory control, point of service, etc.
     Provide visibility between the kitchen staff and delivery area entrance for security.
     Kitchen should be designed to be secured from other areas of the building.
     Kitchen should be designed with a staff toilet and locker space for staff’s personal
     belongings away from food preparation area.
     The kitchen must have access to a loading area and dumpster.
     A custodial room should be located in this area near the loading dock and the kitchen.
     Kitchen plans must be reviewed by the State’s Food Nutrition Staff, Child Nutrition
     Services Sub-Team, and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
     Loading dock areas both inside and outside should be protected with masonry wall

     Cafeterias should be designed to provide students with a pleasant dining environment
     and adaptable space for a variety of other activities such as assemblies, instruction,
     community and co-curricular activities, etc.
     The cafeteria should have access from the main lobby or a separate outside entrance
     with parking adjacent to it to facilitate after-hours use by the pubic. It should be located
     in such a way that when the cafeteria is in use after-hours, the rest of the school can be
     closed off to the public while still providing access to toilets, drinking fountains, and a
     public phone.
     The cafeteria should be located away from teaching spaces because of the noise
     generated during lunches.
     The room needs to be designed with good acoustical treatments, lighting, and sound
     Wall finishes must be a hard, washable, durable surface such as masonry block or other
     impact resistant surface.
     Ceilings shall be simple in terms of design.
     Floor finishes must be a washable and durable such as quarry tile, vinyl composition tile,
     or sheet goods.
     Provide for network capability for electronic point of service.
     Provide a tray return window with washable finishes around the return.
     Cafeterias shall be designed to assure a smooth flow of students between serving area,
     dining area, and dish return area.
     Avoid multi-level cafeterias.
     Provide a custodial closet near the cafeteria.

      Moveable furniture should be selected for durability and flexibility for a variety of uses.
      Consideration should be given to providing sinks in the cafeteria for hygiene, projects,
      and other uses.
      The cafeteria design should support the recycling program of the school.
      Cafeteria shall be sized for three seatings. If two seatings are desired, the additional
      space shall be at local expense.

C.    Instructional Spaces

General Classrooms
      Toilets in the classrooms will be permitted for grades Pre K-2. Provide seamless flooring
      or ceramic tile floors and wainscot.
      Sinks in the classroom will be permitted for grades Pre K-5. Wet areas should have
      resilient sheet or other water resistant materials.
      Provide bookcases and a teacher storage closet.
      Cubbies may be used in grades Pre K-2.
      Consider the use of wireless sound amplification systems to improve student hearing.
      Consider separate switching of the lighting bank along the window wall so that artificial
      light levels can be reduced when natural light levels are high.
      Consider supplemental lighting on the main whiteboard to improve readability for
      Educational technologies in the classroom such as “Smart Boards” and permanent
      ceiling mounted video-data projectors should be considered.
      Radiant floor heating may be used in Pre K-2 classrooms.
      Consider furniture systems (student desks, tables, etc.) that have large enough work
      surfaces to accommodate laptops and student study materials together at the same
      Provisions to meet the districts Technology Plan should be addressed.
      Gypsum or masonry walls, vinyl composition tile, carpet floor, and acoustical ceiling tile
      ceilings are acceptable.
      Classrooms should be lockable from the inside but should allow egress from the
      classroom at any time.

      Gypsum or masonry walls, tile floors, and acoustical ceiling tile ceilings are acceptable.
      The art suite should contain a storage area and kiln room.
      Room finishes should be easily cleaned and stain resistant.
      Consideration should be given to abundant natural lighting.
      Avoid vinyl composition tile flooring and consider finished concrete in middle and high
      Consider floor drains in middle and high school art rooms with appropriate traps.
      Provide ample storage for supplies and projects.
      Consider clay traps in sinks.

Music (Band, Chorus, Practice Rooms)
     Music spaces should be constructed in a manner that will contain their acoustic energy
     from adjacent rooms and from floor to floor when other educational spaces are placed
     above or below them.
     Band rooms must contain and dampen significant amounts of acoustic energy and
     require careful attention to the layout and quantity of sound absorbing materials.
     Chorus spaces need to be more “live” acoustically to help amplify the human voice, and
     therefore may require less sound absorbing material.
     Square footage should be determined by the size of the program.
     Music rooms may have a source of water if requested.
     Practice rooms must be designed to support simultaneous use along with the Band and
     Chorus rooms.
     Visual supervision of practice rooms is an important design criterion.
     Flat floors with portable risers are preferred over stepped floors.
     Computerized keyboarding labs will be allowed when appropriate.
     Door configuration should allow movement of pianos to the stage and other performance
     There should be ample lockable storage for music instruments.
     The volume of music rooms should be appropriately designed.

Special Education Areas
     Special education spaces serve very diverse needs and their design will be considered
     on an individual basis.
     Special education spaces should be placed throughout the building to support the least
     restrictive environment.
     Storage areas are very important for special education spaces.
     OT / PT space should be placed adjacent to the gymnasium whenever possible.
     Gypsum or masonry walls, vinyl composition tile or carpet floor, and acoustical ceiling
     tile ceilings are acceptable.

Library and Media
     Refer to the Department of Education square foot standards for Library/Media Center
     sizes based on student population.
     Additional resources for the design of school libraries include the websites for the Maine
     State Library, the Maine Association of School Librarians, and the Maine Library
     Refer to Educational Specifications for additional design criteria.
     Gypsum or masonry walls, vinyl composition tile or carpet floor, and acoustical ceiling
     tile ceiling are encouraged.
     Excessive volume will not be supported by the State.

Auditorium and Stage
    The State will support an auditorium that will seat 1/3 of the student body for high school.
    The State will support stage sizes based upon program and grade configuration.
    The State will support a basic stage curtain design.
    The State will support a basic sound system.
    The State will support a basic theatrical lighting system.
    Dressing rooms, storage, and scenery shops may be supported as space allocations
    A reasonably sized control booth will be supported.
    Floors should be concrete with carpeted aisles.
    Locate auditorium control booth to allow video recording of performances.
    The following will generally be at local expense:

       o   Additional space
       o   Additional seating
       o   Additional curtains
       o   Fly gallery
       o   Balconies and elevators
       o   Excessive volume
       o   Counterweight systems
       o   Catwalk
       o   Orchestra pit
       o   Professional theatrical lighting system
       o   Other auditorium enhancements.

    Gymnasiums are frequently used as multi-purpose spaces. They should have enough
    sound absorbing material internally to have good voice recognition and sound
    amplification for multiple uses.
    Primary schools will have a synthetic sports floor. Hardwood floor upgrades will be at
    local expense...
    Middle and high schools flooring will be grade 2 wood.
    The Space Allocation Workbook determines the size of the gymnasium, locker rooms,
    bleachers, etc.
    An excellent reference is the publication by the Maine Principals’ Association.
    Locate bleachers and gymnasium doors so that the public will not walk across the
    playing surface.
    A public toilet area should be near the gymnasium.
    Small office space(s) with showers support most middle and high school gymnasiums.
    Provision for network wireless access should be installed.
    Light switches, heating controls and other fixtures should be caged.
    A second physical education space may be acceptable where appropriate.
    Locate gymnasiums adjacent to exterior play fields.
    If wood flooring is to be installed, a mechanical means of controlling humidity should be
    considered (floor manufacturers recommend a humidity level of 35% to 50%).
    All gymnasiums shall have shower facilities.

Science Labs
    Science labs should be designed and equipped to support the science program served.
    Science labs should have lockable storage areas and should have a separate exhaust
    Science labs are typically larger than regular classrooms to support hands on activities.
    Science labs shall have furniture, countertops, floors, etc., that are chemical resistant.
    Appropriate safety equipment should be designed into the laboratory.
    Provisions should be made for computer installation for use in experiments, and they
    should also be linked to a video projector.
    Science labs should have prep rooms with lockable storage units.
    Fume hoods should be incorporated into all chemistry labs and in other science rooms
    based upon the program (chemical use).
    Storage where chemicals are kept should be lockable, chemical resistant, and should
    meet the special provisions of the plumbing code.

Computer Support Rooms
    Support rooms will vary in size based upon the program.
    Some rooms will be used for storage only.
    Some rooms will be used for computer repair, computer construction, etc.

Conference Rooms
    Conference rooms will vary in size based upon the anticipated usage.
    Conference rooms should be designed to be confidential.
    Conference rooms should be located in various areas such as administration, guidance,
    special education, etc.
    Gypsum or masonry walls, vinyl composition tile or carpet floor, and acoustical ceiling
    tile ceilings are acceptable.


The technology that will be included and integrated in the school should follow the school,
district and State’s technology plans. For systems with limited personnel resources in
technology, the district should consider employing a consultant to assist in formulating the
school facility technology plan. The financial resources for technology in a Major Capital
Construction project are limited to 6% of the amount of the money on Line 1 (construction) in the
capital construction budget. No less than 50% of the funds should be expended on the
technology infrastructure.

Technology systems will vary somewhat from project to project; however the State views all
electronic communication systems, safety systems, and teaching systems as building
technology. These include, but are not limited to, phone systems, fire alarm systems, intercom
systems, computer systems, security systems, and specialized systems such as smart boards,
projectors, recorders, etc.

Infrastructure is defined as those components that are integral to the building such as wiring, air
ports, cable trays, alarms, etc.

Equipment is defined as the actual computer, the phone, a smart board, etc.

       All schools shall be equipped with a minimum communication infrastructure for voice,
       data, video, and wireless connectivity.
       All instructional spaces shall have minimum hard wire connectivity for voice, data, and
       video (television).
       Non-instructional spaces also need data connectivity and power sources. These spaces
       would include, but not be limited to, the following: auditoriums, gyms, study halls, press
       booths, ticket booths, snack bars, lighting booths, theater control rooms, mechanical
       room, etc.
       When appropriate “Smart Boards” and ceiling mounted video-data projectors should be
       All communication infrastructure wiring shall be CAT 6 at a minimum. All runs should be
       terminated in the IDF/MDF onto standard RJ45 data patch panels.
       All school facilities shall be built with all the needed amount of conduit/cable
       trays/raceways to meet the present communication infrastructure needs with a 50%
       growth factor built in.
       Provisions should be made that will allow installation of fiber optic cable to the Main
       Distribution Frame (MDF).
       All school facilities shall provide a space for a Main Distribution Frame (MDF) room that
       is secure and large enough to accommodate migration of other central data systems and
       provide for 50% growth.
       Appropriate secure spaces should also be provided for Individual Distribution Frames
       Proper environmental controls should be installed for MDFs and IDFs. MDFs need
       dedicated air conditioning 24/7 and individual heating controls. IDFs need air
       conditioning or proper airflow so that temperatures do not exceed proper operating

    Theater transformer rooms need to have air conditioning or need to be vented well to
    prevent overheating.
    All wiring methods need to meet the NEC Code, Telecommunications Building and
    Wiring Standards, BISCI Standards, ANSI/TIA/EIA Standards and MDOE Standards.
    Consider classroom-based programs rather than computer labs.
    A computer lab should meet the school’s technology program.
    Consider furniture systems (student desks, tables, etc.) that have large enough work
    surfaces to accommodate laptops and student study materials together.
    Avoid areas that have a lot of natural light (glare).
    The computer lab should be equipped with hard data network wiring in addition to a
    wireless network.
    Gypsum or masonry walls, vinyl composition tile or carpet floor, and acoustical ceiling
    tile ceilings are acceptable.
    Use static resistant materials and furnishings.

Laptop Computer Storage Room
    Provide a secure space for storing laptop computers if the school has the program. If
    the space is used to charge computers, provide adequate power and ventilation to the
    Provide a space for repairing computers and storing parts if a similar space does not
    exist in the school system.

 V. Security

Building security should be a priority in the building design and budgeting phase for major
renovations and new school facilities. The following are lists of security measures for schools
developed by the United States Department of Homeland Security. There is a list of “Site and
Layout Design” and one for “Building ‘Design’ Security Issues.” They are in priority order from
less protection, less cost, less effort to greater protection, greater cost, and greater effort. The
following are security measures that are not mandatory but should be considered in the design

Site and Layout Security Design
       Place trash receptacles as far away from the school building as possible.
       Remove any dense vegetation that may screen covert activity.
       Eliminate straight-line vehicular access to the building entrances.
       Make proper use of signs for traffic control, building entry control, etc. Minimize signs
       identifying high-risk areas.
       Identify, secure, and control access to all utility services to the school.
       Provide open space inside the fence along the school perimeter.
       Locate fuel storage tanks at least 100 feet from all occupied school buildings.
       Select and design barriers based on threat levels.
       Install security lighting in areas where needed.
       Install closed circuit television cameras in areas where needed.
       Locate critical school building components away from the main entrance, vehicle
       circulation, parking, and maintenance areas.
       Provide a site-wide public address system and emergency call boxes at readily identified
       Design and construct access points at an angle to oncoming streets.
       Designate entry points for commercial and delivery vehicles away from high-risk areas.
       Conceal and/or harden incoming utility systems.
       Enclose any exterior aboveground fuel tanks.
       Provide a "Knox Box" at the building entrance.

Building Security Design
Major areas of security concerns in a school building are lobbies, mailrooms, loading docks, and
storage areas.

       Ensure that all school exterior doors into inhabited areas open outward. Ensure
       emergency exit doors only facilitate exiting.
       Secure school roof access hatches from the interior. Prevent public access to building
       Restrict access to school building operation systems.
       Install empty conduits for future school security control equipment during initial
       construction or major renovation.

Consider not mounting plumbing, electrical fixtures, or utility lines on the outside of
exterior walls.
Minimize interior glazing near high-risk areas.
Illuminate school access points.
Secure HVAC intakes and mechanical rooms.
Limit the number of doors used for normal entry/egress.
Lock all utility access openings; install concealed hinges and dead bolt locks.
Provide emergency power. Generators shall be at local expense.
Eliminate hiding places.
Provide an alternate telephone service for emergencies.
Install a closed circuit television surveillance system in areas where needed.
Install an electronic security alarm system in areas where needed.
Locate utility systems away from likely areas of potential attack.
Install emergency and normal electric equipment at different locations.
Elevate school HVAC fresh-air intakes.
Physically separate unsecured areas from the main school building.
Avoid exterior walls that have blind corners or recesses that can provide a place to hide.
Avoid wall configurations that can provide a climbing wall.
Support columns for canopies and other structures should be smooth and difficult to
A shut-off for the main ventilation system should be well marked and located in the
building maintenance office.

 VI. Building Systems

Checklist for HVAC
These items represent a very general parameter of design consideration that must be explored
to provide sustainable, well-designed building systems for indoor environmental quality while
minimizing operational costs. Systems should be simple for the operator to control and

       Maintainability / Service
       Life Cycle
       Energy Management
       Full and Part Load Performances
       Environmental Comfort
       Air Quality
       Seasonal Performance
       Air Conditioning
       Cooling and Heating
       Human Interface with Systems
       Systems Being applied appropriately that are simple in design and easily maintained
       North/south zoning control of HVAC system
       CO2 sensors

As a general rule, design to the following light levels:

       Corridors             20-foot candles
       Classrooms            50-foot candles
       Libraries and labs    60-foot candles
       Gymnasiums            30-50 or 70-foot candles depending on the activity.
       Transformers should be K-13 100% harmonic load at a minimum.
       Classrooms should be wired with double duplex outlets, two outlets per circuit, two
       outlets per wall.
       Classroom outlets should have voice and data capability.
       Classroom ceilings should have an outlet with voice and data compatibility.
       Provide adequate electrical capacity for future growth.
       Electrical access panels should be enclosed and out of the eye of the building

 VII. occupants.
       High Performance Schools

High Performance Schools Standards
    Classrooms should be designed to provide acoustical comfort:
       o Configure classrooms to break up sound.
       o Acoustical ceiling tile should be considered.
       o Low-velocity ventilation should be considered.

    Buildings should be commissioned by a third party agent and at a minimum include
    heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (specification Section 15).

       o Electrical lighting system should be designed to balance with daylighting.
       o Natural light has been shown to enhance student performance.
       o Window shades should be included where overheating from solar gain may
       o Windows should be operable to enhance natural ventilation.
       o Light shelves and clerestory windows should be considered.
       o Skylights where appropriate should be considered.

    High performance heating, ventilating, and air conditioning should be used:
       o Heating systems should have high efficiency controls.
       o A heat recovery system for exhausted air should be used.
       o Dehumidifiers, if installed, will give an air-conditioned affect in classrooms.

    High performance electric lighting should be used:
       o Direct/Indirect lighting fixtures with super T-5 lamps and electric ballasts should
           be considered.
       o Minimize the number of lamp types.
       o Light rows should have individual switches to balance electrical and natural light.
       o Task lighting should be installed over walls that serve as instructional areas.
       o Ceiling surfaces should be a minimum of 80% reflective.
       o Wall paint should be a minimum of 65% reflective.
       o Occupancy sensors should be installed in most rooms.
       o Standardize a few colors to be used on all of the schools in the district to
           minimize waste, cost, and maintenance.

    Do a quality life cycle analysis:
       o The life cycle cost should address the initial cost of the system or product.
       o The annual operating cost of unit or units should be addressed.
       o The maintenance, repair, and replacement cost of system or product should be

    Water efficiency should be considered:
      o Low consumption fixtures should be considered.
      o Automatic controls on sinks and flushes should be considered.

Other consideration’s for high performance schools:
   o Site buildings to maximize daylighting (a north, south orientation for classrooms).
   o Site buildings when possible with a major entrance on the south side.
   o Specify variable speed drives on all electrical motors.
   o Specify environmentally friendly construction products that are recyclable.
   o Consider a computer enhanced operating system to control heating, ventilation,
       air conditioning, and lighting.
   o Specify high performance glazing for all windows.

 VIII. General Design Principles

General Design Principles

The State of Maine requires compliance with a building energy goal of ASHRAE 90.1 + 20%
(American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers) and encourages
following the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines as set forth in
the U.S. Green Building Council:

       Technology integrated into designs that will provide true life cycle paybacks.
       Air quality standards are met during all seasons and at full and partial load operation.
       Durable and serviceable equipment and appropriate locations for equipment are
       essential for maintenance and sustained performance of building systems.
       Flexibility of systems to adapt to varying loads and program changes are key to
       providing value and performance.
       Noise, vibration and ventilation effectiveness are necessary design considerations for
       successful environmental control and satisfaction.
       Control and energy management systems must be optimized for environmental and
       equipment control, operational costs control, data trending, monitoring of spaces and set
       points, and preventative maintenance scheduling.
       System efficiency must be provided at full load and part load periods.
       Design should include planning for future expandability.
       Metal covers of fintype radiators should not be installed at the floor level.
       An appropriately sized generator should be considered as part of the building design. If
       a generator is not practical, an outlet on the exterior of the building that will
       accommodate a portable generator connection should be considered.
       Track energy consumption for 2 years and 5 years and compare to the life cycle

 IX. Miscellaneous

Central Administrative Office
A central administrative office will only be included when it can be justified based upon
unacceptable housing conditions, a floor plan that inhibits the functions of the office, poor
organizational structure, central office administrative functions that are spread over a number of
locations, lease, or substantial energy needs.

       Office spaces will be limited to personnel with district wide responsibilities.
       Appropriately sized conference spaces may be included.
       Air conditioning is acceptable.
       Storage space should be included.
       A kitchenette, small lounge, toilet areas, and a custodial closet may be included.
       The entrance to the Superintendent’s office should serve only the office. The office
       should not be accessed through the school.
       Office systems furniture is encouraged.


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