July 22, 2010 (COLUMBUS) The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) approved funding for facility renovation and construction projects in nine school districts across Ohio. The projects represent nearly $345 million in work, to be financed by a combination of state and local funding. The action came at the Commission’s July 22nd meeting.
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 Richard C. Murray called the approvals “a crucial step in addressing the facilities needs within these districts. This agency is committed to working with these districts by provide quality learning environments that enhance our children’s future.” Murray added, “These school construction projects will have a significant economic impact on local communities as today’s Commission action translates into as many as 3,520 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.
(A listing of districts receiving allocations can be found at this link.)