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The Division of the State Architect provides design and construction oversight for K–12 schools, community colleges, and various other state-owned and leased facilities. The division also develops accessibility, structural safety, and historical building codes and standards utilized in various public and private buildings throughout the state of California.

Structural Plan Review Filing Fee Adjustments

The Division of the State Architect’s (DSA) structural plan review filing fees for K-12 and community college projects will decrease to the following levels effective March 1, 2019:

  • 0.85 percent of the estimated project cost for the first one million dollars ($1,000,000).
  • 0.6 percent of the estimated project cost for all costs in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000). 
  • The minimum fee shall remain at 250 dollars ($250).
  • DSA plan review fee formulas for access compliance, fire and life safety, and essential services buildings remain unchanged.
  • DSA’s current structural plan review fee continues to apply to projects submitted or have an intended submittal date prior to March 1, 2019. 

DSA understands the current challenges with rapidly rising construction costs and does not wish to charge clients any more than necessary to adequately cover program costs. The adjustment to the structural plan review fees results from projections that DSA will have sufficient funding to account for estimated expenditures, and a commitment from DSA to not accumulate an inappropriate amount of reserve funds. 

If in the future DSA estimates that the fee formula will be insufficient to adequately address future funding needs, plan review fees will be adjusted accordingly. If this necessity occurs, DSA will provide clients with as much advance notice as possible to make any necessary program adjustments.

Required structural plan review fees, throughout the duration of the project application, are based on the fee schedules in effect the date the project is submitted to DSA. This is the registered intended submittal date, in accordance with PR 17-03: Project Submittal Appointment Process

DSA will provide updates once implementation plans are finalized, and when appropriate documents, webpages, and fee calculators reflect the new fee structure.

Assistance For Disaster Damaged School Facilities

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) has policies and procedures to expedite the repair or reconstruction of school facilities damaged or destroyed by natural or man-made disasters. DSA recommends school districts contact their respective DSA regional office for assistance and guidance in repairing or replacing damaged structures or for placement of temporary emergency facilities. If you have questions, please contact your DSA Regional Office.

Additional Resources

  • Information related to the fires’ impact on schools such as damage, access issues and more should be sent to the California Department of Education Emergency Services at emergencyservices@cde.ca.gov.
  • Impacted local educational agencies to apply for a waiver through the California Department of Education to prevent them from losing Local Control Funding Formula funding based on attendance and state instructional time penalties. More information about state recovery resources is available from the CDE’s School Disaster Recovery webpage, and at this CalOES webpage.
  • The California Environmental Protection Agency provides a library on air quality, debris and ash removal, and water quality monitoring.
  • Rebuilding After a Wildfire (PDF), a publication from the State Fire Marshal.
  • For an overview of state and federal resources, see the California Department of Education’s webpage on the October 2017 Statewide Wildfires.

Full Implementation of Electronic Plan Review

We are modernizing the plan review process at DSA by fully implementing Electronic Plan Review (EPR). Starting October 1, 2018, all projects submitted to DSA will be sent as electronic files. Design professionals will upload plans to DSA for a fully electronic review. The introduction of EPR brings changes to the submittal, review, back check and approval process of construction projects. Visit the Electronic Plan Review resource page for an overview of the process, copies of draft procedures, and the implementation schedule.

DSA 20/20: Focus on the Future - Wrap Up!

The Division of the State Architect (DSA), the Office of Public School Construction and the California Department of Education recently completed a series of statewide outreach events focused on sharing a wide variety of information and the exchanging of ideas for how, together we can deliver educational facilities more efficiently.

For materials, photos and a video recording, please visit the DSA 20/20: Focus on the Future event page.

Project Submittal Appointment Process

Our new Project Submittal Appointment Process is underway. The new process replaced the previous system that created “bin time” and allows design professionals to work on the project right up until the time of submission.

Instructions for the new process are outlined in DSA procedure PR 17-03: Project Submittal Appointment Process (PDF - 536 KB).

Protecting Schools from Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards

To learn more about avoiding potential safety hazards that can occur during an earthquake from nonstructural features improperly attached to the structure, review the Guide and Checklist for Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards in California Schools (PDF) . This document was jointly produced by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the Department of General Services – Division of the State Architect, the Seismic Safety Commission, and the Department of Education.

California DSA Announces Easy Access to Uncertified Project Files

DSA Certification Box allows everyone to view uncertified project files, sorted by district, campus, and project. To view a list of outstanding forms, fees, and design documents required by the Division of the State Architect’s (DSA) office, visit the DSA Certification Box.

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