Section 3318.03 | Facilities construction commission to determine need for additional classroom facilities.
(A) Before conducting an on-site evaluation of a school district under section 3318.02 of the Revised Code, at the request of the district board of education, the Ohio facilities construction commission shall examine any classroom facilities needs assessment that has been conducted by the district and any master plan developed for meeting the facility needs of the district.
(B) Upon conducting the on-site evaluation under section 3318.02 of the Revised Code, the Ohio facilities construction commission shall make a determination of all of the following:
(1) The needs of the school district for additional classroom facilities;
(2) The number of classroom facilities to be included in a project and the basic project cost of constructing, acquiring, reconstructing, or making additions to each such facility;
(3) The amount of such cost that the school district can supply from available funds, by the issuance of bonds previously authorized by the electors of the school district the proceeds of which can lawfully be used for the project and by the issuance of bonds under section 3318.05 of the Revised Code;
(4) The remaining amount of such cost that shall be supplied by the state;
(5) The amount of the state's portion to be encumbered in accordance with section 3318.11 of the Revised Code in the current and subsequent fiscal years from funds appropriated for purposes of sections 3318.01 to 3318.20 of the Revised Code.
(C) The commission shall make a determination in favor of constructing, acquiring, reconstructing, or making additions to a classroom facility only upon evidence that the proposed project conforms to sound educational practice, that it is in keeping with the orderly process of school district reorganization and consolidation, and that the actual or projected enrollment in each classroom facility proposed to be included in the project is at least three hundred fifty pupils. Exceptions shall be authorized only in those districts where topography, sparsity of population, and other factors make larger schools impracticable.
If the school district board determines that an existing facility has historical value or for other good cause determines that an existing facility should be renovated in lieu of acquiring a comparable facility by new construction, the commission may approve the expenditure of project funds for the renovation of that facility up to but not exceeding one hundred per cent of the estimated cost of acquiring a comparable facility by new construction, as long as the commission determines that the facility when renovated can be operationally efficient, will be adequate for the future needs of the district, and will comply with the other provisions of this division.