July 23, 2009 (COLUMBUS) The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) today approved funding for facility renovation and construction projects in 32 school districts across Ohio. The projects represent nearly $1.4 billion in work, to be financed by a combination of state and local funding.
A significant portion of the state funding for the projects will come from the proceeds from the $4.1 billion in tobacco securitization financing initiated by Governor Ted Strickland and approved by the Ohio General Assembly in 2008. The funding awards are contingent upon State Controlling Board approval. The districts must acquire their local share of the project budget within a one-year time frame before the state funding can be released.
OSFC Executive Director Michael C. Shoemaker called the approvals “a crucial step in alleviating serious facilities problems within the districts. Education is the most important thing we do to prepare the next generation for the future. We have an obligation to provide our children with the best and safest places to learn.” Shoemaker noted that the Commission “is ready to work closely with the districts so students have access to education-ready, high-quality facilities where children can thrive.”
Shoemaker added, “These school construction projects have a significant economic impact on local communities and today’s Commission action translates into as many as 9,420 job opportunities for Ohio workers.”
Under the Commission’s Green Schools Initiative, adopted in 2007, all of the buildings will be designed using the energy efficient and environmentally-conscious LEED® for Schools rating system developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council. Schools built to this standard have been proven to make a tremendous positive impact on student health, test scores, teacher retention, school operational costs, and the environment.
(List of funded projects)