August 23, 2012 (COLUMBUS) At its August 23rd meeting, the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) addressed the role it will play with the advent of the new Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. OSFC and the Office of the State Architect, currently a part of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, will be joined to form the new agency on September 10, 2012. The consolidation was approved by the Ohio General Assembly as part of Governor John Kasich’s Mid-Biennium Budget review (House Bill 487).
OSFC Chairman Timothy S. Keen, Director of the Office of Budget and Management, said that ”the consolidation reflects the administration’s goal of streamlining state services and aligns related authority and resources within a single, responsive entity that will have oversight responsibility for building construction. This common-sense move brings consistency to the oversight of construction on public facilities and to the implementation of construction reforms that were put in place by House Bill 153.”
Keen emphasized that OSFC will continue to exist within the new consolidated agency. It will focus on project funding, master facility plan approvals, the House Bill 264 energy conservation program and other policy issues that affect school facilities. While the existing commission will continue to deliberate on topics specific to school facilities needs, the new Facilities Construction Commission will oversee construction delivery methods, construction documents and compliance issues.
Additionally, OSFC will be moving from its previous schedule of monthly meetings to meeting on a quarterly basis. OSFC’s final meeting this year will be held on October 25, 2012. The panel adopted a 2013 calendar with meetings set for January 24, April 25, July 11 and October 24.
As part of its regular business, the OSFC approved more than $22.5 million in construction trade contracts. The 37 contracts were for work in 20 school districts.
The commission also approved energy conservation projects for two school districts in Hamilton County. The Northwest Local School District project will upgrade lighting and building controls and make boiler replacement and other energy-related improvements in 16 buildings. The district estimates $474,327 in annual energy and operational savings. Meanwhile, the Finneytown Local School District project includes lighting and building automation upgrades, boiler replacements and other energy efficiency work in three buildings. The district estimates $117,211 in annual energy and operational savings