|July 10, 2014 (COLUMBUS) The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) today approved over $251 million in state funding for school construction projects in 13 school districts across the Buckeye state. Combined with $279 million in local funding, these projects represent more than $530 million in construction and renovation work.
"This is a critical step in ensuring that our children are in new or renovated facilities that help support academic achievement," said OSFC Executive Director Richard Hickman. He went on to add that, “There is also a significant economic impact attached to today’s Commission action – the construction work generated by this project could translate into both job opportunities for local residents and increased purchases of goods and services from local businesses.”
“While Governor Kasich has been making key reforms to help our students learn and have success in the classroom, these grants will bring needed renovations to help these schools support student growth,” said State Budget Director Tim Keen, chair of the OSFC. “Ohio’s renewed fiscal health made it possible for Governor Kasich to allocate new funding to renovate our schools over the next two years.”
According to Keen, the state capital budget approved by Governor Kasich earlier this year allocated $675 million to the OSFC for grants over the next two years.
The funding awards are contingent upon State Controlling Board approval. School districts must raise their local share of the project budget within 13 months before the state funding can be released. Districts that fail to acquire their funding in that period are considered “lapsed” but can still participate in OSFC programs once they obtain local funding. Four (4) of the districts funded at the meeting were districts that had previously lapsed funding, but have since raised their local shares.
Established in 1997, the Commission is responsible for administration of the state’s school construction and renovation program. The Commission is currently working with, or has completed all necessary work in, nearly two-thirds of the state’s 613 school districts.
On September 10, 2012, the Commission was consolidated with the Office of the State Architect to form the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. The Ohio School Facilities Commission continues to exist as a separate commission within the new agency, focusing on funding Ohio’s comprehensive K-12 school construction program.