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Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Webinars

Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST, with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is offering design and construction webinars this spring in addition to their in-person training seminars.  Click the links below for information on how to register.  

April 12, 2017, 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM CT - Dwelling Unit Requirements

April 26, 2017, 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM CT - Accessible Routes

May 10, 2017, 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM CT - Accessible Public and Common Use Areas

June 14, 2017, 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM CT - Common Design and Construction Violations and Solutions

Proposal To Sunset School Facilities Commission Won't Impact Projects, Director Says

Eliminating the Ohio School Facilities Commission moniker would alleviate confusion and improve efficiency, Executive Director David Williamson told a House subcommittee Thursday.

The commission currently operates inside the Facilities Construction Commission, of which Mr. Williamson also serves as the executive director.

He said the biennial budget ( HB 49) proposal to sunset OSFC wouldn't change the school facilities funding work that's already underway - all of which is already being completed by umbrella commission OFCC.

"The commission within a commission structure breeds confusion among stakeholder groups when trying to figure out with which commission to deal and has contributed to operational inefficiencies and costs," Mr. Williamson told the House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee on Thursday.

Read more: Proposal To Sunset School Facilities Commission Won't Impact Projects, Director Says

Bill would designate the barn as Ohio's first official historical architectural structure

Representative Anne Gonzales has introduced a bill into the Ohio House of Representatives that would designate the barn as the official historical architectural structure of the state.

During a February 14 Hearing for HB 12 before the House State and Local Government committee, Rep. Gonzales said that the bill is the work of five students from the Westerville City Schools Gifted Education Program. These students felt strongly that the barn should be designated the official historical architectural structure of the state of Ohio. "I believe that it is important to cherish and preserve the architectural relics that are such an important part of our rural heritage," Rep. Gonzales said. In response to Chairwoman Anielski's inquiry, Rep. Gonzales said that the barn would be the first architectural structure categorized as a historical structure in Ohio and that the eighth grade students who approached her intend to give testimony at a later hearing.

Rep. Perales commended Rep. Gonzales for her efforts to engage students.

AIA Recognizes Record Number of Ohio Fellows

Congratulations to our Ohio Architects for being elevated to the College of Fellows! Out of 178 architects that were elevated nationally, 8 were from Ohio. They are Jack Alan Bialosky Jr. FAIA, Cleveland; Robert Bostwick, FAIA, Cleveland; David Hughes, FAIA, Cleveland; Eric Pempus, FAIA, Cleveland; Lane Joseph Beougher, FAIA, Columbus; Tim Fishking, FAIA, Columbus; David B Meleca, FAIA, Columbus; Bruce W. Sekanick, FAIA, Eastern Ohio. The 2017 Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the AIA Convention in Orlando. To read the press release and see the entire list click here.
The Ohio Valley Region was the only Region to have 100 percent of applicants elevated this year.  In addition to the eight from Ohio (the most Ohio has ever had elevated in a single year), there were two new Fellows recognized in Kentucky and one in Indiana.

Jack Alan Bialosky Jr. FAIA, Senior Principal, Bialosky, Cleveland.
Embracing a new paradigm for practice, Bialosky has empowered multiple generations of leaders, modeled the architect as a community leader, and inspired peers to reimagine their own firms, thereby transforming the profession.

Robert Bostwick, FAIA, Bostwick Design Partnership, Cleveland.
Through innovations in collaborative practice models, Bostwick is improving project delivery to achieve exceptional outcomes while advocating nationally to position architects as the most capable leaders to skillfully integrate complex teams.

David Hughes, FAIA, Professor, Kent State University.
Hughes combines his passion for architecture, African culture, travel, research, photography and teaching to introduce a paradigm of thought, that has worldwide regard, influence and impact on design, practice and education.

Eric Pempus, FAIA, Architect and Attorney, Cleveland.
Providing leadership, mentoring and specialized risk management services to the architectural profession, Pempus engages practitioners, students, the public and other construction industry stakeholders through national educational programs, ethics and research, thereby elevating the profession. 

Lane Joseph Beougher, FAIA, State Architect, Ohio.
As a public architect, Beougher exhibits exemplary leadership by advancing project delivery methods, advocating for sustainable design, integrating technology into construction processes, leading the Institute and related organizations, and service his community and profession. 

Tim Fishking, FAIA, NBBJ, Columbus.
Fishking has advanced healthcare design industry innovations, by pioneering the modular prefabrication of building systems while leading collaboration with constructors and transforming healthcare design and construction.

David B Meleca, FAIA, David B. Meleca Architects, LLC, Columbus.
Meleca has combined his unique experience of classical architecture and theology to become a national leader in the renaissance of traditional Roman Catholic Church architecture.

Bruce W. Sekanick, FAIA, Phillips Sekanick Architects, Warren.
Sekanick advances initiatives strengthens engagement and promotes mentorship though consistent commitment to advocacy and political fundraising. He continuously works to elevate the statue of architecture as a champion of the profession and he advocated for the opportunity to have all members be active participants. 

State to Appeal Court Ruling Striking Down Local Hiring Ordinance Ban

The state is planning to appeal the decision of a Cuyahoga County court that ruled 131-HB180 as unconstitutional because if violates home rule.

The city of Cleveland sued after Gov. John Kasich signed HB180 (Maag), which banned municipalities from requiring architects and contractors to hire to a certain percentage of local residents for the construction of public projects. Opponents of the law said the measures allow cities to make sure local workers are getting jobs on local construction projects, while supporters said such laws raise costs and hurt competition.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo sided with Cleveland this week, granting a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the law. Russo wrote that the General Assembly did not have the authority to enact the law because it only seeks to dictate the terms by which municipalities may contract for workers within their region, not provide for the comfort, health, safety and welfare of employees. He also said the law violates home rule powers. 

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson praised the decision. "For 12 years the city of Cleveland has used the Cleveland Resident Employment Law (Fannie Lewis Law) as an effective tool to both stimulate the local economy and connect Clevelanders to employment. There are billions of dollars of development happening in our city; yet special interests in Columbus are attempting to prohibit our residents from seeing a financial impact from that development. Judge Russo's decision is right and I thank him for correcting this wrong," he said in a statement.

Legislative Democrats who voted against the bill also praised the decision.

"The state should partner with local communities to expand economic opportunities for everyone, not attack home rule authority and restrict residents from participating in their own communities' economic development," said Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron).

Added Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron), "Our constitution preserves and protects the right and responsibility of citizens to exercise self-governance in their community. The ruling in Cleveland not only upholds this fundamental tenet of American democracy in Ohio, but it also preserves the freedom of local communities to make decisions that increase economic stability and ensure equal employment opportunities for citizens." 

State To Appeal Strike Down Local Hiring Quota Ban

A Cuyahoga County judge on Feb. 1  blocked a controversial measure banning local hiring quotas.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Russo granted the city of Cleveland's request to permanently block the law from being enforced.

In blocking enforcement of the law, Judge Russo cited home rule authority.

"The court finds that HB180 was improperly enacted because it does not provide for the comfort, health, safety and welfare of employees; rather, HB180 seeks only to dictate the terms by which municipalities may contract for workers in construction projects within their realm," he wrote in his ruling. "There are no protections afforded to employees under HB180, and no portion of the bill relates to the comfort, health, safety or general welfare of these contractors."

Attorney General Mike DeWine's office declined to comment on the judge's ruling, but did say an appeal is planned.

The city argued the law would override a 2003 ordinance, the Fannie Lewis law, which requires 20% of taxpayer-funded construction hours to go to city residents. The law also requires that 4% of those hours are worked by low-income residents.

Since 2013, according to the lawsuit, the law has allowed city residents to work 897,870 hours on taxpayer funded construction projects, generating more than $34 million in wages. More than 100,000 hours were worked by low-income city residents.

Read more: State To Appeal Strike Down Local Hiring Quota Ban

OSFC's Goals Include Automation, Reducing Project Closeout Backlog

The Ohio School Facilities Commission's leader on Thursday laid out goals for the year, listing the automation of operations and the filling of vacant project manager roles as priorities.

All goals for the year revolve around the commission continuing to "support our growing customer list" and run as efficiently and effectively as possible, OSFC Executive Director David Williamson said.

One way to achieve those goals is to automate as many of the commission's operations and activities as possible, freeing up staff time and making it easier to stay in communication with districts, he said. OSFC staff is currently investigating options in that regard.

Also among the 2017 focuses are implementation of the funding and policies in the next biennial budget and providing professional development opportunities to employees, he said.

Since its inception in 1997, the commission has served 380 districts, with 279 remaining eligible for funding, Mr. Williamson said. There are currently 39 projects in planning stages, 49 in design and 70 in construction.

Closing out projects is an area where the commission can improve this year and into the future, he said. There is currently a backlog of about 100 projects waiting to complete the long finalization process.

Read more: OSFC's Goals Include Automation, Reducing Project Closeout Backlog

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