|October 23, 2014 (COLUMBUS) The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) today approved over $106 million in state funding for school construction projects in 3 school districts across the Buckeye state. Combined with $58 million in local funding, these projects represent more than $164 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.”
“These grants continue a historic effort by the State of Ohio to rebuild and renovate our schools,” said State Budget Director Tim Keen, chair of the OSFC. “By ensuring the modern, efficient learning environment students need to succeed, this funding complements important educational reforms that Gov. John Kasich has helped bring to Ohio’s schools.”
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 three districts approved today – Northridge Local (Montgomery County), Middletown City (Butler County), and Northwood Local (Wood County) – were the second set of districts to receive a funding grant during the current fiscal year. The Commission approved nearly $251million in funding for projects in 13 districts in July 2014.
State law requires that 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. Both the Middletown and Northwood districts 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.