Planning is under way for South-Western City Schools' rebuilding project, scheduled to begin by spring 2013.

Planning is under way for South-Western City Schools' rebuilding project, scheduled to begin by spring 2013.

With voter approval of Issue 8, a 38-year, $148-million bond issue, at 2.9 mills, the district qualifies for an Ohio School Facilities Commission program. State money will pay about half the cost of building 13 new elementary schools, replacing Franklin Heights High School and making minor renovations to Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods elementary schools. The renovations will affect about 8,000 students.

The district will hold a public meeting to gain community input at 7 p.m. on April 26 at Grove City High School.

District officials expect a construction schedule to take shape by June. Traffic studies and soil testing will begin soon. Pending soil testing, the district intends to replace buildings on their existing sites, with the possible exception of North Franklin Elementary School.

Superintendent Bill Wise said the Ohio Controlling Board is expected to formalize the district's appropriation in July.

The OSFC is expected to approve the project agreement in September, said Andrew Maletz of SHP Leading Design architects. Meanwhile, the district will discuss using temporary space to house students during some construction phases.

Issue 8 will cover about $28 million in costs not funded by the OSFC program.

The money will pay for steel sloped roofs, brick exterior and specific types of flooring.

The new Franklin Heights High School will be built around the existing auditorium

Seating 969 people, the FHHS auditorium is the district's largest. A new auditorium seating only about 500 would cost the district $1.5 million to build, said Mark Waller, district coordinator of property services. State funding wouldn't cover any of that cost.

OSFC funds can be used only for infrastructure; none can be spent on salaries or operating costs.

The project will be completed in phases, with buildings completed every three to five months. Buildings likely will be bid separately.