May 26, 2009 (COLUMBUS) Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, State School Superintendent Deborah Delisle, and Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) Executive Director Michael Shoemaker were among the dignitaries present as hundreds of students, parents, and alumni celebrating the groundbreaking for new academic and residential facilities at the Ohio State School for the Blind and Ohio School for the Deaf.
The events took place Tuesday, May 26th, at the current campuses in Columbus’s Clintonville area. The schools, which have not undergone any major construction since the facilities opened on their current sites in the early 1950’s, will be building nearly 170,000 square feet of residential and classroom space.
The planning and construction of the project will be guided by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, which has opened 670 new or renovated school buildings in Ohio since its inception in 1997. Director Shoemaker, called the endeavor “one of the most exciting and challenging projects in our history.” Shoemaker noted that the planning and design followed extensive research, including visits to similar schools in other states and the use of nationally-recognized consultants familiar with the educational needs of students with vision or hearing impairments. He added that “This project certainly emphasizes the Governor’s commitment to all the children of Ohio.”
The $40 million project is being done under design standards that include the specifications of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Schools rating program. Each campus will have multiple buildings that will seek silver or gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. OSFC adopted the LEED for Schools criteria for standard for all OSFC-funded buildings in 2008.
The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 2011 school year.
(From Left: OSFC Executive Director Michael Shoemaker, Governor Ted Strickland, State Superintendent Deborah Delisle)