Finneytown Local Schools currently has three schools: Brent Elementary for Kindergarten through first grade, Whitaker Elementary for second through fifth grades, and a secondary campus.
The district’s plan is to build two new buildings: a K-6 building on the existing Brent Elementary site, and a 7-12 building on the existing secondary campus.
Once the new buildings are open, the old secondary building and Whitaker will be demolished and abated. The district can sell the Whitaker and Cottonwood properties. Proceeds from these sales can be used to prolong the need for an operating levy.
Funding and the OFCC
In late 2017, Finneytown was notified by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) that the district was near the top of the list to receive funding to help build new buildings through the CFAP (Classroom Facilities Assistance Program). OFCC would pay 52% and Finneytown would pay 48%. The Board of Education voted to go forward and explore input from the community about what the future looked like in FLSD. The desired Master Plan (one K-6 and one 7-12 school) was determined.
In March of 2018, all was in order for the Board to vote on a recommendation to move forward. On the day of the Board meeting, Finneytown was contacted by OFCC to inform the district that they discovered there was no money available for us at that time. They were overextended and would not entertain an application from Finneytown with CFAP. The OFCC could not consider us until their next biennium budget. Finneytown would remain on the list, but, no money would be available for 3-5 years.
In March 2019 that there had been a change in yet another OFCC program, the ELPP (Expedited Local Partnership Program) that would be in Finneytown’s favor. Previously, ELPP was for wealthier districts who had the money to build facilities, then could be reimbursed for the matching funds when they became available. Most of these districts, because they were wealthier, had very low matching percentages.
The OFCC made modifications to the ELPP at the end of February 2019. The new rules allow a district who is at least two years from receiving CFAP money to be eligible. Finneytown contacted OFCC and found that the district could apply. In a special meeting on April 8, the Board passed a resolution to apply for the ELPP. On Friday, April 12, Finneytown received notification from OFCC stating that the district is eligible to participate in the ELPP. In addition, the matching funds are now at a 60% state match and the community only has to provide 40% of the base cost.