Federal Hocking Moves Along With Facility Improvements

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Administrators with the Federal Hocking Local School District are currently reviewing the requests for qualifications (RFQs) from multiple architects with regard to the district’s facility improvements to take place later this year.

The RFQs are to be reviewed by the end of the week to be submitted to the state according to treasurer Bruce Steenrod. The improvements are to include the replacement of the roof on the high school building and the high school gymnasium along with the replacement of chillers at the high school/middle school, as well as Amesville and Coolville elementary schools.

Chillers are used to operate the cooling systems. At the recent board meeting, the board approved the project agreement as submitted by the Ohio School Facilities Commission’s (OSFC) Classroom Facilities Assistance Program. The agreement outlines the details of the project and the funding structure for the district and the state.

The total project is estimated at just over $1.4 million with approximately 39 percent, or $567,145, coming from the state. The local share to be paid by the school district is $892,402.

The total project budget includes the Locally Funded Initiative (LFI) fee of $615,062. This fee is calculated from a formula that takes into account the square footage of a district’s school buildings and the number of students it has.

The OFSC website defines the LFI as “any portion of a project that is solely funded by the district as an addition to the master plan. The OSFC will work with the district to integrate LFIs into the overall master plan but will not share the cost of the additional items.”

To eliminate the LFI, the district would either have to tear down what’s considered excess or increase enrollment. Construction is expected to take place this summer, according to Steenrod.