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Back   Constructech's 2nd Annual Vision Award
Gold Award Winner - Government
Ohio School Facilities Commission
Columbus, Ohio

"The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC), Columbus, Ohio, provides funding, management oversight, and assistance to all of Ohio's 612 school districts for the construction and renovation of school facilities. The vast number of school facilities needing attention resulted in an increased amount of data, paperwork, and personnel required to manage the process.

To tackle this enourmous undertaking, the OSFC had to either create a large bureaucracy or hire consultants, including architects, construction managers, contractors, and other construction professionals, to assist with the workload. The OSFC chose the consultant approach, however this presented a new challenge: how would the organization effectively manage the process, which included multiple partners throughout a wide geographical area?

The OSFC turned to the Internet to improve communication, minimize paperwork, and keep its staff at a minimum while effectively managing a growing number of school construction projects and consultants. But the projects continued to be waylaid by communication delays that were caused by geographical distances.

To solve that ongoing problem, the OSFC implemented a centralized database and project-managment Website developed by, Columbus, Ohio. No client-side software was necessary, and the site is designed to display on any browser. As the OSFC's collaborative Website became reality, the communication gaps were bridged. The system allowed school districts, OSFC project managers, architechts, construction managers, subcontractors, and board members to access and share information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Website displays the latest validated project information and promotes a positive impact on workflow collaboration. In realtime, financial information, project photos, file management, bid calendars and announcements, building assessments, and master-planning activities are managed and available via the Website. Furthermore, the site keeps the public informed with limited access to certain areas of the site.

The online management tool has been a success. The OSFC's Website receives nearly 20,000 hits daily from 2,000 users. The greatest benefit of the system is that it allows the OSFC, with a minimum staff of 45, to manage numerous construction programs and projects for 612 school districts throughout the state. Currently, nearly 400 projects - $3.5 billion of construction - are managed via the site. Additionally, paperwork has been minimized, shipping and travel charges reduced, less data-entry hours required, communication errors diminished, and issue resolution expedited. The OSFC plans to add online bidding, e-commerce, and GIS mapping capabilities to the site."

- from
Issue V4N11

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