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Facilities Agency OKs FY17 School Projects, Guidelines for Lead Mitigation

The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) gave conditional approval Thursday for expected building projects in FY17, with 15 districts in line for $950 million worth of construction, while its parent agency set guidelines for a program giving schools up to $15,000 apiece to test for lead in water fixtures and replace them if needed.

Commission planning chief William Ramsey said that figure could eventually surpass $1 billion, as more districts could be added to the list during quarterly updates to the project list.

According to Ramsey, the districts plan 26 new buildings and eight renovations, with an average project cost of $63.4 million and an average state share of costs of 37.8 percent. Four districts have already secured their local share of funding.

The commission also approved funding through its STEM program for Tri-Star STEM Compact School in Mercer County for a $16.6 million project with a 50 percent state share.

The OSFC also approved two updates to templates for its project agreements to reflect recent changes in law. One addresses the use of lease-purchase agreements for districts to secure their local share of project funding. The other addresses changes recently enacted in HB180 (Maag) to bar local governments, including school districts, from requiring that local residents be hired for project work. 

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) voted to set program guidelines for the lead abatement grant program, funded in HB390 (Schaffer-Retherford) at $12 million.

OFCC program services chief Jeff Westhoven said traditional schools, charter schools and chartered private schools housed in buildings constructed before 1990 will be able to secure funding, which can also cover eligible work already performance since Jan. 1 of this year. Schools would have nine months to complete the work if funded. 

Westhoven said the agency is developing an application process now and will host an online webinar for interested schools once it's complete. The commission also voted to delegate authority to approve the grants to OFCC Executive Director David Williamson.


AIA Ohio Member Profile: One-on-One with Erin Curley, AIA

ErinCurleyEditor’s Note: Erin officially passed her exams on June 20, 2016. She is now an Architect. Congratulations!

Job Title: Job Captain, RCM Architects & AIA Toledo Chapter, Associate Director

AIA Ohio Involvement: AIA Toledo Chapter, Associate Director and Founder of ENGAGE Studio (a studio focused on ARE preparation and encouragement for Emerging Professionals)

When did you become interested in Architecture?
Subconsciously, as a child.  My interest to draw, build, color, create, and deconstruct led to a focus on art through grade school.  My sophomore year, serendipity struck.  I was presented with alternative electives in lieu of the desired two art classes. Choir, band or drafting.  Well, I knew I was an amazing singer… in my car, by myself; my instrument talent involved playing a bucket; which left one – drafting.  As I told my mother, “but no girls take that class, only boys.”  Let’s make a deal she said. “Try it one semester, if you dislike it, art can be your elective until graduation.”  Done! I knew I would win that battle… or not.  As they say, “mom knows best!”  I now possess an extreme passion for the profession and “LOVE” what I do every day. 

Why is becoming a licensed architect important to you?
ARCHITECT!  So profound and how Wright it sounds.  A profession of passion.  “Earning” my license will be the culmination of my life’s accomplishment thus far.  A title of the elite, backed by competence.  I will have given blood, sweat, and tears to attain the right to say “I AM AN ARCHITECT!”  This title is the golden ticket to Wonka land, filled with a sense of prestige enabling only those who qualify the legacy of enhancing the future of the profession.

What advice or words of encouragement can you give to those who are pursuing the path to licensure?
Stop procrastinating!  There is never a “Good” time to start.  The decision to become an architect is yours alone and once committed, stick with it and power through.  Many before you have defeated the obstacles along the path to licensure. I must emphasize how important it is to become engaged.  Technology is a great tool, but face-to-face interaction is irreplaceable for networking and marketing.  Become involved in AIA, USGBC, schools, universities, community or civil activities.  The connections made through involvement will enhance your growth. 

How important is it is to have role models and mentors? Who are some of yours?
Mentors and role models are different.  A mentor is a guide, while a role model inspires.  I believe both are critical for growth.  I have had the fortunate honor to be inspired and enhance growth at the hands of many.  If not for the unrelenting mentorship of my parents, I would not be writing this.  They have functioned as both mentors and role models, enhancing each decision with visual guidance through the obstacles.  Mr. Miller and Mr. Howard, two H.S. teachers, who formed initial development in drafting and English.  College professors, my NCARB mentor and colleagues are also worth acknowledging.  The team at RCM Architects, especially my current mentor Tracie Carpenter, are continuing to enhance my development.

What is your favorite building in Ohio and Why?
It is hard to narrow down a favorite, as I actually have three, representing different aspects of my life.  However, the most current, is The Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion.  This building allows me to reflect upon my grandmother, creating a personal connection.  Located in “The Glass City”, made of glass and of course displaying glass art, the building allows me to recall the stories she told me of her days working in the decorating department at Libbey Glass.

Cincinnati Leads State in Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Cincinnati was the big winner this week with one third of all Historic Preservation Tax Credits announced earlier this week by the Kasich administration. The Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) and State Historic Preservation Office awarded 26 candidates a total of $27.8 million to rehabilitate 39 historic buildings in 12 Ohio counties. Hotel Secor in Toledo and the former Crosley Radio building in Cincinnati tied for the largest individual awards, at $5 million apiece.

DSA Director David Goodman joined Sen. Frank LaRose (R-Copley) and Director Mariangela Pfister of the Ohio History Connection Tax Credit Program in Wooster to announce Round 16 awards and an estimated $261.4 million in private investment.

“Preserving these historic buildings will help revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns,” Goodman said in a statement. “Historic rehabilitation transforms underutilized properties into assets for communities.”

He said many of the buildings are now vacant and generate little economic activity. Once rehabilitated, they will drive further investment and interest in adjacent properties, Goodman said.

Cincinnati developers will receive more than $9.3 million to renovate five historic buildings in Hamilton County.

Developers are not issued credits until construction is complete and all program requirements are verified.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. It determines whether a property qualifies as a historic building and whether rehabilitation plans comply with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. 


771 and 772 East McMillan Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $2,295,211
Total Tax Credit: $250,000
Address: 771 and 772 E. McMillan St.; 2504 Chatham St., 45206
Investors: Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation and private developers.

This project will redevelop three buildings, two of which are historic. The Hamilton Building at 771 McMillan was built in 1883 as a single family residence. 772 McMillan is a mixed-use building with three commercial spaces on the ground floor and apartments above. Plans call for the rehabilitated historic buildings to house seven apartments and a restaurant/bar. The non-historic building at 2504 Chatham has six apartments to be rehabilitated.

Crosley Building (Cincinnati)
Total Project Cost: $45,333,987
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 1333 Arlington St., 45225

Built in 1930 and designed by Samuel Hannaford and Sons, the building was headquarters to the Crosley Radio Corporation and home to their design and manufacturing operations. The nine-story structure and an adjacent building will feature 324 market rate apartments. This is the first Historic Preservation Tax Credit project in the Camp Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati.

Read more: Cincinnati Leads State in Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Ohio Architect Elected to American Institute of Architect’s National Board of Directors

Bruce Sekanick, AIA, OAA, is AIA National’s Secretary Treasurer for 2017-2018

Columbus, Ohio – June 7, 2016 – Ohio architect Bruce W. Sekanick, AIA, OAA, was elected 2017-2018 Secretary of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Board of Directors. Sekanick was elected at AIA’s 2016 National Convention in Philadelphia last month and will take office in December.  Sekanick is a firm principal at Phillips/Sekanick Architects in Warren.

The American Institute of Architects is the leading professional membership association for licensed architects and emerging professionals; and serves as the voice of the profession. AIA Ohio represents more than 2,000 licensed architects and associate architects.

In this role, Sekanick will oversee the administrative process of the organization and will be responsible for maintaining official records and documents.  He will also address membership and chapter or component accreditation and chartering; and, in consultation with the Institute’s legal counsel, oversee the election of AIA directors and officers. Additionally, he will actively work with the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on reviewing proposed resolutions and changes to the Bylaws and Rules of the Board. 

“Bruce brings a wealth of experience to this office as he has served in many roles at the state and national level,” said Gregg Strollo, AIA Ohio President. “We are extremely proud of Bruce and this accomplishment and we know that he will make a positive impact on AIA’s membership.”

Sekanick is currently the chair of ArchiPAC, the Institute’s Political Action Committee. He previously served as chair of the AIA National Strategic Planning Committee, was regional representative to the Strategic Council for 2015 and regional director on the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2014, both for the Ohio Valley Region. He was also president of AIA Ohio in 2010 and president of AIA Eastern Ohio in 1995.

Sekanick received his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Kent State University along with a Certificate in Urban Studies and Planning.  He also completed an Executive Certificate program in Leadership and Management in 2012 from the University of Notre Dame.

BBS Issues Memo re: Temporary Door Locking Devices

On May 13 the Board of Building Standards issued a new BBS Memo regarding temporary door locking devices.  The memo is attached HERE.

If you have questions related to information contained in the Memo, please contact the Board’s technical staff at 614-644-2613.

Capital Construction Bill Awaits Kasich's Signature

The state's Capital Construction Bill, SB 310, passed the House May 4 (89-1) and now goes to the Governor's desk for his expected signature.  CLICK HERE for a summary of included projects.

Senate Blocks Addition of PLA Agreements to SB 152

An attempt to ban the use of project labor agreements in certain construction projects hit a wall in the Senate May 4, when members overwhelmingly rejected House language that would have put the new limits in place.

Senators voted 25-8 to reject the House amendments to legislation (SB 152) that also blocks public authorities from requiring a certain percentage of architects and workers from the geographic area of the project.

The Senate's concurrence vote came shortly after the House voted 51-42 to advance the controversial plan following extensive debate.

The bill could now head to a conference committee. What appears more likely, however, is that members will opt to address the residency issue - sans PLA language - through companion legislation (HB 180) advanced by the Senate Government Oversight & Reform committee.

The General Assembly will likely act on residency requirements before summer break.

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