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OFCC Segment 1

Segment 1

On March 6, 2012, the South-Western City School District community showed how much it values the education of its children through the passage of a bond issue to replace 13 elementary schools, renovate two elementary schools, and build a new Franklin Heights High School.

The design process began immediately after passage of the bond issue with our architects and designers working with the community, staff, school board, and facilities teams to design new buildings that met the expectations for 21st Century learning spaces - flexible and safe with space for all-day, everyday kindergarten.

Overview of the Project

  • No New Millage Bond Issue passed on March 6, 2012
  • Nearly half of the funds come from the State of Ohio
  • No increase to taxpayers' costs
  • $40 million in deferred maintenance costs eliminated

Scope of the Project

  • $260 million Project in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC)
  • 13 Replacement Elementary School Buildings
  • Renovations to Two Elementary Schools
  • Replacement Franklin Heights High School

Elementary School Master Plan and Timeline

  • Phase 1: Break Ground - Spring 2013 / Open - Fall 2014
  • Phase 2: Break Ground - Spring 2014 / Open - Fall 2015
  • Phase 3: Break Ground - Spring 2015 / Open - Fall 2016
  • Phase 1
  • Phase 2
  • Phase 3

Features of the new Elementary Buildings

Safety Features:

  • A separate bus loop separates bus traffic from the public drop-off/pick-up area.
  • The building contains a state-of-the-art access control system with video cameras for school safety. The public entrance requires visitors to enter the main office upon their arrival. All other entry doors will be locked once school is in session.
  • Central-locking feature enables all exterior doors to be locked through one main console.
  • A records storage room ensures the privacy and security of student and staff records.

Landscaping Features:

  • Native landscaping promotes sustainability and long-term growth.
  • There are multiple age–appropriate playground spaces with surface play areas and equipment.
  • The bus lot can be closed off during the school day to allow for additional playground/walking space.

Classroom Features:

  • Students will benefit from the large, flexible classrooms that enable multi-age group learning, sharing of student resources, and space to spread out to participate in hands-on projects.
  • Flexible learning spaces with small and large group Extended Learning Areas (ELAs) provide blended educational opportunities.
  • Both fixed and moveable furniture allows for additional flexibility in the classroom and the Extended Learning Areas.
  • Making the most of the space available, all classrooms are equipped with built-in lockers and “cubbies,” sinks, workspace counters and lots of storage area. To maintain a clean and dust-free environment and allow interactivity, “white boards” and short-throw projectors replace traditional chalk boards.
  • To create a warm and inviting atmosphere, all classrooms have large windows to allow in plenty of natural light, colorful counters and floor accent tiles, and light-colored walls.
  • Classroom spaces are located in the North and South direction to take advantage of daylighting while reducing the electrical and mechanical loads.
  • Daylight and occupancy sensors are located in all rooms to reduce electrical loads. When there is sufficient daylight in the room, the lights automatically shut off and will turn on when daylight dims. When no one is in the room, the lights automatically shut off until someone walks into the room.
  • The flooring, both carpet and tile, is in 2’ x 2’ squares so it can be easily replaced if damaged.
  • The no-wax rubber tiles save the district money in both supplies and labor.
  • Age-appropriate restrooms are located in all kindergarten classrooms. Reduced flow fixtures in the remainder of the building restrooms help lower operating rates.

Educational Resource Center (ERC):

  • Centrally located at the top of the main staircase the ERC sits quietly above the administrative and student support offices.
  • The ERC boasts a large collection of books and a variety multi-media materials.
  • The rooms permit study/work space for full classes of students and a cozy reading area with an electric fireplace for just relaxing with a good book.  Natural light from a large windows and dual-level lighting systems create near-perfect conditions for studying and conducting research.


  • The building is designed to support one-to-one student video streaming devices.
  • Interactive projectors and document cameras are located in all learning spaces – classrooms and Extended Learning Areas (ELAs).
  • There is WiFi - wireless Guest access throughout the entire building.
  • Students will have access to ChromeBooks for collaborative purposes and to prepare them for the real world.

Music and Art Rooms:

  • Acoustically treated classrooms are available for a wide variety of music programs.
  • A large, specially lighted art room encourages students to express their creativity. Substantial storage space is available, as is display space alongside the main hallway, ERC and Office area.
  • Rubber tile floors make clean-up fast and easy.

Cafeteria and Gymnasium:

  • The new elementary schools have a large, multi-purpose cafeteria/gymnasium. This room serves as both the cafeteria and the gymnasium for the school. The room features a large stage-area and seating for approximately 700 people.
  • A state-of-the-art kitchen awaits students and staff.
  • The cafeteria has tables that convert into benches for easy conversion to seating for events.
  • A collapsible wall can be accessed to divide the gymnasium and cafeteria into two separate areas for gym classes and lunch at the same time.

OFCC Schedule:

  1. Project Cost Updates
  2. OFFC Commission Approval of the Master Plan
  3. Controlling Board Approval of the Master Plan
  4. Project Agreement, Construction Manager Selection and Project Administrator Selection

Design and Planning Process

  1. Project Master Plan
  2. Program of Requirements
    • DESIGN PHASE (approximately a year)
      1. Schematic Design
      2. Design Development
      3. Construction Documents
  3. Bidding
  4. Construction
    • 15-16 months to build an elementary school
    • 24-27 months to build a high school
  5. Closeout

Goals and Expectations

  1. Design and Construction Schedule
    1. Phasing
    2. Swing Space
  2. Design Objectives
    1. Tour other new facilities in the area
    2. Lessons Learned from previous construction
    3. Community & Staff Engagement
    4. Energy Performance & Building Systems

First Steps

Site Analysis
  1. Geotechnical Studies
  2. Site Layouts
  3. Traffic Studies
  4. Topographic Surveys

Design and Planning Process
Project Master Plan: The comprehensive plan for repairing and/or replacing the educational facilities of a school district.

Program of Requirements (POR): Part of the assessment and master planning process that establishes the number and types of spaces a district will need to serve its students.

Design Phase-Schematic Design (SD): In this phase of the project, the building's required spaces are developed and organized into functional groupings represented by bubble diagrams created by the Design Professional. This design includes orientation of building circulation patterns and service systems. The Schematic Design is reviewed and approved by the Project Team prior to staring the Design Development phase.

Design Phase-Design Development (DD): Project phase in which the district and their architect work together to develop the designs for the new or renovated facilities.

Design Phase-Construction Documents (CD): This phase is to prepare documentation that will accurately and precisely convey the design to the prime contractors who will construct it.

Bidding Process: The process by which districts select and contract with firms to conduct work on school buildings. The process includes an advertisement for the work scope, acceptance of binds, an evaluation of bids and bidders, and an award to the lowest most responsible bidder.

Construction: The actual construction of the building beginning with site preparation.

Closeout: Process by which all outstanding invoices are resolved, warranty periods begin and the district and the OSFC end their partnership.

Ohio Facilities Construction Commission Classroom Facilities Assistance Program