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HB 180 Residency Ban Enjoined

The Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County found that requiring contractors (and possibly subcontractors) to use local residents in construction is an exercise of local government, and therefore supersedes state law.

Accordingly, the Court enjoined the operation of HB 180 which was to go into effect today.

The City of Cleveland brought suit against the State of Ohio to defend its city ordinance requiring residency for construction contractors, now banned by passage of House Bill 180.  

Cleveland’s Ordinance section 188.02 requires that 20% of Worker Hours be performed by residents of Cleveland.  The City claims that its Constitutional Home Rule authority supersedes state statute.

In defending the new statute, R.C. 9.49, the Ohio Attorney General pointed out to the Court that Ohio’s Constitution also protects workers’ rights, such as allowing workers the right to live in any city.

HB 180 passed the legislature with uniform support from Construction Trade Associations.

The case now will proceed on the merits, where interested parties are likely to enter appearances.


City of Cleveland v. State of Ohio, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CF-16-868008.

Cleveland Lawsuit Seeks To Block Law Banning Local Hiring Quotas

A controversial measure banning local hiring quotas that took effect earlier this year is unconstitutional, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the City of Cleveland.

The lawsuit, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, alleges that the law (HB 180) is a violation of home rule authority granted by the state's constitution.

The law "violates the Ohio Constitution by purporting to preempt and deprive the city of its powers of local self-government established by Article XVIII, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution, Ohio Home Rule Amendment," the complaint reads.

Signed into law by Gov. John Kasich on May 31, it is set to take effect Aug. 31.

If it does, the city argues, it would override a 2003 ordinance that 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 were worked by low-income city residents.

Those numbers, the city claims, demonstrate the irreparable harm that would beset the city if the law is allowed to take effect.

"There is no way the loss of such hours would be compensated in the future. The economic benefit to the city and the direct loss by Cleveland citizens would be irreparable," the lawsuit reads. "The city law was put into place because the city council had determined that citizens of Cleveland were not getting the opportunities associated with public construction contracts funded by the city."

Sponsoring Rep. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) said the local hiring quotas build "walls against employment." 

"When an Ohio governmental entity implements a residency restriction, that restriction cannot be applied to out-of-state employees of any contractor, or out-of-state contractors," he said during sponsor testimony. "Ironically, this gives an unintended competitive advantage to out-of-state contractors."

He also pointed to a 2009 Ohio Supreme Court Case - Lima v. State - that found cities cannot require their employees to reside in the city of employment as justification for the bill.

Democrats, however, argued throughout the process that it would strip local governments of home-rule powers and sought to insert language that would have allowed for 5% local hiring quotas. However, that proposal was rejected.

The bill was approved in a party-line vote in the Senate, where it was spared a provision inserted into companion legislation (SB 152) in the House that Democrats described as "Senate Bill 5-lite." (See 

On the House floor, Democrats sought to add language that would have allowed local hiring quotas of up to 5%. However, the proposal was rejected.

Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) welcomed the suit on Tuesday, saying the Ohio constitution is intended, in part, "to protect the freedom of local decision making in communities across Ohio."

"Local hiring standards have been an effective tool to push back against the high unemployment that plagues too many minority communities in our urban cores," she added. "For the state to take away tools that increase broad-based economic opportunity and increase our skilled workforce is unconscionable, but I applaud Cleveland leaders for fighting back against what is effectively taxation without participation."

Facilities Commission OKs Eight Charters for $17 Million in Building Grants

Eight Ohio community schools will share in about $17 million in state facilities funding, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission said Thursday in announcing initial awards under a budget-funded building program for charters.

The eight schools were among 13 who applied for the up to $25 million made available in HB64 (R. Smith). To be eligible, schools had to be deemed high-performing and demonstrate their facilities projects would increase the supply of seats of high-performing schools, serve specific unmet student needs; and show innovation in design and potential as a successful, replicable school model.

Funding can go toward design and construction fees, construction, fixtures, furniture and equipment. Awards are conditional pending execution of grant agreements and final approval by the Controlling Board.

Approved schools and funding amounts are as follows:


- Citizens Academy Southeast, $1,567,128
- Columbus Collegiate Academy West, $1,698,054
- DECA Prep. Inc., $777,567
- Entrepreneurship Preparatory School Woodland Hills, $352,595 - Menlo Park Academy, $4,635,885
- Patriot Preparatory Academy, $1,912,487
- Richland Academy School of Excellence, $1,462,720
- Village Preparatory School Willard, $4,604,390 

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.

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