Three area school districts are in line to receive a hefty amount in state funding for school construction projects - if they can come up with a local share.
Among the 19 school districts statewide set to receive Ohio Facilities Construction Commission money are Mathews, Bristol and Austintown.
The OFCC on Thursday approved more than $406 million in state funding to be distributed among the 19 school districts. Each district must contribute a local share of project funds within 13 months before the state money can be released. Distribution of the awards also is contingent upon State Controlling Board approval.
Local shares generally are raised by levies passed by taxpayers in each district.
Districts that fail to raise their portion within the 13-month period are considered lapsed but can still participate in the program once they obtain local funding and will become top priority for the next distribution, said Rick Savors, OFCC media relations manager.
Mathews is scheduled to receive $5.6 million in the hopes of building a new K-12 school. The district must raise more than $24 million in local funds for a total cost of $29.6 million for the new building.
Funding by district District State share Local share
Austintown $32,361,000 $36,492,000 Bristol $8,764,000 $5,147,000 Mathews $5,631,000 $24,006,000
Mathews Superintendent Lew Lowery said how the district will raise the money will be discussed during Wednesday's school board meeting.
"The need is there and everyone's aware of the need, so I'm pretty confident that the community will stand behind it," he said.
Austintown is slated to receive more than $32 million in state money to go with a local contribution of $36.5 million for a new high school and expansion of the current middle school.
"As a graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, I'm extremely pleased and happy to see this investment in our schools move forward," said state Rep. Ronald Gerberry, D- Austintown. "I am hopeful that we can get this done for our students, teachers and families."
Bristol will receive a state share of $8.8 million to pair with a local contribution of $5.1 million for the renovation and expansion of its K-12 facility.
"This is a critical step in ensuring that our children are in new or renovated facilities that help support academic achievement," said OFCC executive director Richard Hickman.
The districts were selected based on their placement on the School Facilities Eligibility Listing as compiled by each year by the Ohio Department of Education. Districts are then ranked by need based on a formula that includes average valuation per pupil and taxable property in the district, divided by the number of students, with adjustments made based on other criteria such as income and property types.