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Doug Steidl, FAIA Appointed to Ohio Architects Board

Governor John Kasich has appointed Douglas L. Steidl, FAIA to the Ohio Architects Board for a term beginning January 7 and ending October 2, 2020.  He replaces Stephen Sharp, AIA.

Steidl founded and led one of Ohio’s most respected firms for twenty-four years prior to his current position as the Dean of Kent State University’s College of Architecture.

His professional service has brought him into working relationships with all segments of the architectural community.  Widely known throughout Ohio, Doug Steidl is the only Ohio architect ever to be elected President of all three levels of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)—local, state and national.  He is a Fellow of the Institute who has received many Gold Medals and citations. 

179d Extender Passes Congress

AIA National President Russ Davidson, FAIA, issued the following statement after the approval of an extender bill re-establishing the tax incentive known as 179D.

“As architects, we’d have preferred a longer-term extension. With this deduction expiring each year, it has been difficult for us to plan our finances, which in turn has limited the effectiveness of this key incentive for designing energy-efficient buildings.

“Nonetheless, we are pleased members of Congress have voted to extend this tax provision through 2016 as part of the comprehensive budget bill. In addition to providing a benefit to commercial building owners, the 179D deduction encourages federal, state and local government building owners, like public schools or state universities, to build energy-efficient buildings by offering a tax deduction to the designer of these buildings.

“By allowing government entities to transfer the tax deduction to designers of buildings that surpass industry efficiency standards, our profession is able to put in the extra time and effort needed to design the best buildings for our neighborhoods and communities, while government entities can better manage their bottom lines.

“Our 87,000 members strongly support this deduction as one way to encourage the design and construction of buildings that are energy efficient—and save taxpayer dollars in the process. We’d like to see it made permanent.”

AIA ArchiPAC: Race for the ArchiCUP

With the start of the New Year just hours away, ArchiPAC is introducing Race for the ArchiCUP, a fun way for members to amplify their voices and to become involved in AIA's Advocacy efforts.  The ArchiCUP Race will begin January 1 and run through July 15, 2016 and focuses on team efforts to raise money in support of the AIA advocacy efforts at the national level.  Teams can be made up of any members - from anywhere in the country.  You can have a local team, a regional team, or a team just from your office.  This is a new way to become an active member in support of our advocacy team, and a great way for members to get involved.  To help, we have developed the ArchiPAC Playbook, a short manual to help  members, and team captains, succeed.  We hope you take the time to organize a team and become part of this new effort and join us as we work with more than 87,000 members from across the country to make our voices heard.  What happens on Capitol Hill does matter, and we want you to be part of this effort.  

Bruce Sekanick AIA
Chair, National ArchiPAC Committee 

Cleveland's Former Union Trust Company, 34 Other Projects Awarded Historic Preservation Tax Credits

The Development Services Agency awarded its latest round of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits Wednesday, including a $25 million tax credit for the redevelopment of the old Union Trust Company building in Cleveland, the agency's second "catalytic" award.

Thirty-four other applicants received a total of $37.8 million for projects to rehabilitate 55 historic buildings across the state, leveraging about $285.3 million in private investment, according to a news release.

"This is public-private money coming together," DSA Director David Goodman said in a statement. "Saving historic buildings strengthens Ohio's communities which attracts businesses and visitors to the state."

Last year, the agency awarded its first catalytic tax credit to the Music Hall Revitalization Corporation and Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation to rehabilitate the 136-year-old Cincinnati Music Hall.

Union Trust Company: The 1.4 million-square-foot former trust building in Cleveland was built in 1924 but is now mostly vacant. Hudson Holdings plans to turn the building into a complex with 673 apartments, a 279-room hotel, office, business incubator, retail and event space. The project is expected to cost $270 million.

Here are the other projects awarded tax credits:

Read more: Cleveland's Former Union Trust Company, 34 Other Projects Awarded Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Architects CE Bill Passes House

The Ohio Architects Board is sponsoring HB243, which has been endorsed by AIA Ohio and would modify Board authority to revise the types of activities that qualify for continuing education credits.   The bill passed the House unanimously December 8 and now will be considered by the Senate.  Although the Board has no plans for immediate changes to its CE requirements, it believes that HB 243 is needed to clarify the issue in light of the Legislative Service Commission’s contention that the Landscape Architects Board, which operates under identical statutory authority, didn’t have the ability to change the types of activities that qualify for CE.

Architects Good Samaritan Law Passes Ohio Senate Committee

The Senate Civil Justice Committee approved AIA Ohio's Good Samaritan Bill, HB17, December 8 sending the bill to the Rules Committee where it will await a vote by the full Senate.  

HB 17 would grant a volunteer who is an architect, engineer, surveyor or contractor qualified immunity from civil liability for any acts, errors, or omissions conducted in the performance of professional services that are requested by government officials, for a building, structure, piping, or other engineered system during a declared emergency and 90 days thereafter. 

No immunity would be granted from wanton, willful or intentional misconduct.  

Commerce Department's David Williamson to Lead Facilities Commission

David Williamson, superintendent of the Division of Industrial Compliance at the Ohio Department of Commerce, will take over next week as executive director of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) and its subsidiary agency, the Ohio School Facilities Commission. 

The OFCC voted 3-0 Wednesday to appoint Williamson to the job, effective Nov. 8, at a salary of $115,000 per year, following an executive session to discuss personnel matters. Budget Director Tim Keen, who chairs the commission and led the search process, said he was impressed by Williamson's knowledge of state government and organizational leadership. 

Williamson has had two stints as superintendent of the division, during the Kasich administration and from 1999 to 2007 in the Taft administration. He previously served as executive director of the Board of Cosmetology and retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force after 28 years of service. 

The work of Williamson's division at the Department of Commerce is related to that of the facilities commission, as it oversees building codes and construction industry licensing. 

Keen and his fellow cabinet officers on the commission -- Administrative Services Director Robert Blair and Rehabilitation and Correction Director Gary Mohr -- offered gratitude to David Chovan, a senior staff member who has served as interim executive director following the October 2014 retirement of former Executive Director Richard Hickman. They also thanked the rest of the staff for their efforts during the transition.

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