By Kristin Rover
Milford Exempted Village School District announced that it has begun the process to accept funding from the state to build two new elementary schools in the district.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Farrell said the district received word from the Ohio School Facilities Construction Commission that it had been selected for the funds at about 5 p.m. before their board meeting May 16.
“We were thrilled,” Farrell said about the news. “The possibility of building two new schools and not have to come to the tax payers is just wonderful.”
Farrell said they have been working toward receiving state funds for new buildings for several years.
He said board members applied 13 years ago to receive funds based on credit they earn from projects they complete on their own. Since they applied, Farrell said they have built several schools in the district
“We applied and began to build as we could,” Farrell said. “And we got credit for the buildings that we did.”
Farrell said four elementary schools have been built in the district, they have added on to the junior high school, and have renovated the high school.
Farrell said the construction process for each of the projects is monitored by the Ohio School Facilities Construction Commission, and each project receives a different amount of credit.
He said that in January, the district was informed by officials with the Ohio School Facilities Construction Commission that it was on the list for schools eligible to receive funding.
“We were at the bottom of the list for people who were potentially eligible this year,” Farrell said.
He said in late April they found out their chances of receiving the funding had improved some, and May 16, just before the board meeting, they found out they had been selected.
Farrell said the credit they received amounted to $25 million in funding for a new project.
He said they are looking at building new elementary schools on the Boyd E. Smith campus and near Seipelt Elementary to replace the older buildings.
“We will actually receive permission to go ahead and begin the planning process in late July,” Farrell said. “That is usually about a year’s time.”
Farrell said their best estimate is that the schools would be complete by December 2015.
Farrell said the OSFCC will be involved throughout the new building process.
“It is nice to have their expertise,” he said.
The announcement about the funding for new schools came about a week after the district passed an operational levy May 8 to help maintain services in the district.
The district had failed to pass a levy in November of 2012, and they were able to pass the 4.5 mill levy during the May 8 special election.
Farrell said it was surprising how everything worked out, and they are feeling fortunate that good things are happening for the district.
For more information about the Ohio School Facilities Construction Commission project at Milford Exempted Village School District, visit www.milfordschools.org.