School construction and remodel projects

The School Health & Safety program reviews design plans for new, replacement or existing school remodel construction projects for all K-12 public, private and parochial schools to ensure minimum environmental health standards are met. This review complements a building department review in that the review considers a school’s proposed classroom use and determines appropriate health and safety measures. The program also reviews items not requiring building department approval, such as playground equipment. Program approval is required before building permits and/or certificates of occupancy are issued.

School - cubbies and coat hooks

When a plan review is required

Plan review is required for all K-12 public, private and parochial school-based projects such as:

  • New or replacement school buildings
  • Remodels or additions to existing schools, including but not limited to:
    • Adding classrooms or special-use rooms such as gyms, band rooms, art, STEM or other locations students will access
    • Re-purposing/relocating existing rooms for STEM, art or other specialty instruction

Other types of reviews

If this project is for an existing site and/or structure planned for a new school that has not been previously utilized or designed for a school, a site review is required. 

If this project includes food service including cafeteria, student store or culinary based food service, and has not been previously approved, a separate plan review is required for food service.

If this project includes new or relocated playground equipment, a separate playground plan review is required.

How to submit for review

Application materials:

Prior to submitting for a plan review, please email the School Health and Safety program staff to confirm submission requirements. When ready, completely fill out the school construction and remodel plan review application: 

Note that incomplete packets may be returned. 

Application materials can be submitted:

  • Electronically: Application and supporting documents can be submitted electronically with prior approval. Email us for more information.
  • In person: Please note that in person submissions are currently not being accepted due to the COVID-19 safety precautions in place. Check back here for updates. 
  • By mail: Application, supporting documents and payment can be submitted by mail at PO Box 9825 Vancouver, WA 98666.

Plan review process:

The length of time for a review is dependent on the completeness of the application packet and prompt responses from the applicant(s).


Environmental health fees

School Health and Safety fee descriptions are available here. Environmental public health fees are reviewed and updated annually.