George H. Gerke Elementary School Blog

OFCC Timelines

Posted on: March 20, 2018
Franklin Board of Education embarks on OFCC timeline for new facilities
 
On January 22, the Franklin Board of Education signed an agreement with architecture firm SHP Leading Design, a key step in the process necessary for the district to seek monies for new school buildings from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). SHP will provide facility master plan consulting, educational visioning, and community engagement. 
 
Prior to signing the agreement with SHP, the Board had authorized the district to say yes when the OFCC asked the district if they were interested in a share of funds. This OFCC agreement did not commit the district to anything, but did put FCS in line for a funding share and provides a free assessment of all of the district's educational buildings. District Superintendent Dr. Michael Sander noted that with these actions, the district has embarked on a multi-year timeline that includes evaluation, planning, securing local monies, and construction.

 

The OFCC (previously known as OFSC) is a state fund established to assist in building construction and renovation projects. OFCC provides a state share of funding based on the district’s per-pupil valuation, which is calculated annually; OFCC's role will be to evaluate the district's current classroom buildings and provide a facility report in July 2018. The last OFCC assessment, done in 2001, recommended replacing Franklin Junior High School, Schenck Elementary, and Laura Farrell (which is currently being leased to the Warren County Educational Service Center and will not be included in these plans). 
 
"The OFCC assessment is done at no charge to the district and will note what needs to be done to get our buildings up to standards or whether they should be replaced," said Sander. He added that there is one important consideration: OFCC does not provide funds for buildings with enrollments of fewer than 350.
 
SHP Leading Design is a Cincinnati-based firm with extensive experience in school design and planning. Their services will include participating on the steering committee and at Board of Ed meetings with District leadership; gathering input from all stakeholders through focus groups, community meetings, building-by-building forums, and interviews; leading the district through educational visioning; reviewing facility assessments; assisting with enrollment projections; assessing potential facility sites; testing concepts; and preparing a final facilities plan.
 
SHP's work will be complete by July 2020 when the OFCC will commit to its share of funding. The District then has 13 months to pass a levy to fund its share of the building project. Upon passage, the construction phase can begin with the goal of opening new buildings in approximately August 2022. 
 
"We held a community forum in October to assess residents' interest in new buildings," said Sander. "A big crowd offered enthusiastic support and many ideas for new buildings. The Board is excited to work through this process to ensure that our students have the opportunity to learn in up-to-date facilities."
 
Those with questions about the process should contact the Superintendent's office at (937) 746-1699.