The Ohio School Facilities Commission voted Thursday to approve $193 million in state funding toward nine projects totaling nearly $500 million in construction work.
Contingent on Controlling Board approval, the state funding will be combined with $303 million in local-share money from the nine participating districts, who must raise their local amount within 13 months.
The commission’s action provides funding for projects in the following districts: Ayersville Local, Champion Local, Chillicothe City, Cuyahoga Falls City, Firelands Local, Lake Local, Poland Local, Reading Community City and Southwest Local.
“This is a critical step in ensuring that our children are in new or renovated facilities that help support academic achievement,” said OSFC Executive Director David Chovan in a statement. “There is also a significant economic impact attached to today’s commission action – the construction work generated by this project could translate into both job opportunities for local residents and increased purchases of goods and services from local businesses.”
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) has announced final plans for its annual construction conferences.
The one-day events, conducted on four separate days at regional locations around the state, bring together the entire construction community, including public owners, architects and engineers, construction managers, contractors, consultants, and specialty service providers. The program is designed not only to provide information on the process for OFCC-managed programs but also practical advice on the various aspects of construction and construction management.
The conferences’ morning sessions will include two in-depth case studies, presented by the actual project teams, that look at two popular project delivery methods: design-build and construction manager at risk. The panels will focus on selecting an effective team, developing designs that work, and implementing construction successfully using these popular delivery models.
Afternoon breakout sessions will focus on practical advice for selecting design and construction firms, using electronic bidding, and how to develop design criteria that work for the success of the project, among others.
Continuing education credits have been submitted and are pending approval from the American Institute of Architects. Local professional development credit is available for K-12 educators.
Sessions, which all run from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be held as follows:
– Wednesday, July 22, in Independence (Cleveland).
– Tuesday, July 28, and Wednesday, Aug. 26, in Columbus.
– Thursday, Aug. 20, in Cincinnati.
Cost to attend is $65 per person.
More information and registration links can be found at http://ofcc.ohio.gov/MediaCenter/TrainingOutreach/OFCCConference.aspx
Preservation Ohio announced Thursday 13 properties that face risk of demolition, dilapidation or “uncertain futures,” continuing the group’s compilation of threatened historic sites for the 22nd year.
“These properties could be gone forever if not recognized for the part they play in maintaining their community’s historic fiber,” said Marian Vance, the nonprofit’s president, noting the sites need statewide recognition.
Age, amount of deterioration, local groups invested in preservation, and a building’s or site’s impact on the surrounding community contribute to generating the list. Preservation Ohio receives nominations from citizens and organization, with its board of trustees making the final decisions.
Bob Johnson, chairman of a group that aims to restore the Stone Train Depot in Ashtabula, said the area wants to see Amtrak use the 19th century station as a working site, bringing a “new era” of tourism to a once flourishing manufacturing region. He says Ashtabula is a great spot for high-speed rail service between Erie, PA, and Pittsburgh.
Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) said as a retired history teacher, he wants to “get on board” to preserve the depot, which is located near the disaster site of one of the deadliest train wrecks in the United States.
Also making the list is the Cedar Bank earthworks, a little-studied Native American earthwork from Adena culture not preserved as part of a park. Located north of Chillicothe in Ross County, its rare embankment wall is nearly two millennia old.
Two homes on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in Delaware currently used for student housing together are one of the endangered sites, as they are slated to be razed by the university to make room for newer housing.
She said after receiving recognition through the group’s list, the Westcott House, a Springfield house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was restored. Other successes include the Unionville Tavern in Madison, once part of the Underground Railroad, and the Columbus Athenaeum, a Masonic Temple.
In 2014, three of the 11 properties on the list were saved and one lost. The organization continues to monitor the remaining sites.
The 2015 List of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites includes:
-East Liberty Schoolhouse, Akron.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors on April 24 approved a plan to allow private employers to pay for their annual workers’ compensation premiums in two, four, six or 12 installments as part of its move to a new prospective billing system.
Under the new system, businesses will be billed prior to receiving coverage instead of the previous system of billing employers after they have received coverage. The signing of 130-HB493 (Sears-Henne) allowed for the transition to the new system.
“Prospective billing is not only the standard across the insurance industry, it will bring a number of benefits to Ohio employers, including the $1.2 billion in premiums BWC will pay on their behalf as we make the transition,” BWC Administrator Steve Buehrer said. “We’re pleased to offer more flexibility as part of our ongoing efforts to modernize our operations and provide the quality service that Ohio employers expect.”
Businesses can expect to receive their first notice of estimated annual premium in early June for the 2015 policy year, according to a news release from BWC.
“Beginning July 1, businesses will pay an estimated premium for the upcoming coverage year and undergo a payroll ‘true-up’ process after the policy year ends to ensure the proper premium was paid,” BWC said. “As part of the previously announced $1.2 billion premium credit to ease transition costs for employers, BWC will pay businesses’ previous six months coverage, or final payroll report, under the old system, as well as one-sixth of the policy year 2015 premium due. Therefore, their first payment under prospective billing won’t be due until Aug. 31.”
In addition to payment flexibility, the switch to prospective billing is expected to provide a number of benefits to Ohio employers, according to an executive summary of the plan. Those include an overall base rate reduction of 2 percent for private employers and 4 percent for public employers, as well as an increased ability for BWC to detect employer non-compliance and fraud.
Buehrer said BWC’s “strategic direction” staff has been working to educate employers on the upcoming changes, noting 1,898 attendees representing 1,502 distinct employers have signed up for training.
“This is a huge accomplishment,” he said. “Furthermore, our staff has conducted our first employer seminar in Spanish to a group of Spanish-speaking employers. We are excited to be reaching out to as many employer as possible, and even going the extra mile to speak to them in their own language when we can.”
Also discussed at the meeting was a new initiative to provide workers’ compensation coverage for Ohio employers who have employees temporarily or regularly working outside the state. Kendra DePaul, special assistant to Buehrer, explained that BWC’s extraterritorial coverage generally covers claims of Ohio employees temporarily working out of state as long as the claim is filed in Ohio, but cannot cover claims filed in other states.
“For example, if I was going to a conference up and Michigan, and got in car accident in Michigan, as long as filed the claim back in Ohio, there would be no issue. BWC would process like any other claim,” DePaul said. “If I filed that claim in Michigan, BWC can’t respond to it, they’re not a licensed insurer there, so Michigan would not recognize BWC’s coverage in that state.
“That can lead to some issues for employers,” she continued. “If an employee files a claim in another state, and the employer doesn’t have coverage there, they’re considered uninsured for the purposes of workers’ comp by that state. That can lead to some great fines and penalties and generally they have to pay the claim dollar-for-dollar. So it’s an exposure risk for the employer.”
She said the plan is to offer two types of coverage: limited other states’ coverage, for Ohio employers who have employees temporarily working outside the state; and other states’ coverage, for Ohio employers who have regular or full-time employees working outside the state.
She said the new plan will include the following components:
– Employer would apply directly to BWC.
– BWC would determine eligibility by the following criteria: the employer must be in good standing; have an experience modifier under two; and have 80 percent of its payroll in Ohio.
– Vendor will issue a policy to cover out-of-state exposures.
– Vendor will respond to any claims filed out-of-state.
She said more details would be forthcoming after BWC finds a vendor to respond to the RFP, which is expected to be issued Tuesday, April 28.
Board Chairman Nicholas Zuk said this is an important issue to address, as it was the “No. 1 question” at recent board forums.
“This will allow our employers to bid on jobs out-of-state that they are now prohibited from bidding on because they don’t have group coverage,” Zuk said.
Ohio’s school construction program has reached the 200 mark for facilities earning certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program.
The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) said Wednesday that Violet Elementary in Pickerington schools is the 200th such facility.
According to the commission, Ohio’s certified schools are on average 33 percent more efficient in energy usage and 37 percent more efficient in water usage. “All of the OSFC projects encourage the use of products and components that are at least partially recycled and are recovered or manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the project,” OSFC stated.
In addition to the 200 certified schools, 140 are registered with LEED, meaning they are at some stage of the design, construction or review process, according to the commission. Ohio has required each project design to seek at least a LEED Silver certification since 2007. Three schools in Ohio have attained the highest certification, Platinum, said OSFC.
“These 200 projects, which represent a commitment to both our school children and the future of our environment, are the direct result of innovative team work from architects, construction managers, trade contractors, and our project partners, the local school districts. I commend them for their accomplishments,” OSFC Interim Executive Director David Chovan said in a statement.
“On behalf of the entire USGBC community, I commend the state of Ohio for certifying its 200th school under the LEED green building rating system,” Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council, said in a statement. “This achievement demonstrates determination and commitment to create a healthy, sustainable environment for all of Ohio’s children. Schools are the centers of their communities and the positive impact these LEED-certified schools will have on the state and its children will be felt for years to come.”
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors gave formal approval Feb. 27 to another rate cut totaling $500 million in private employer savings under the Kasich administration.
Directors voted to approve the 10.8 percent, $153 million estimated rate reduction after an initial hearing last month and a final recommendation from the Actuarial Committee. BWC Administrator/CEO Stephen Buehrer attributed ongoing premium cuts to a several factors including lower-than-expected claim frequency and this year’s adoption of prospective billing, under which the bureau will bill in advance rather than in arrears. The switch will save employers money and free up state investment dollars for BWC.
“The environment for employers operating in Ohio is improving along with the state’s economy, and BWC is certainly part of that story,” Buehrer said. “We’ve targeted improvements that will yield positive improvements to Ohio’s workers’ compensation system, and are conducive to business growth. Lower rates, along with a focus on workplace accident prevention and care for those who are injured, all support the state’s continued economic recovery.”
The Electrical League of Ohio is proud to announce the Electro Expo 2015 – Powering Innovation & Technology will be held on Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12, 2015. The event will be held at the brand new state-of-the-art Cleveland Convention Center in downtown Cleveland. Registration & More Information
The Electro Expo attracts over 350 manufacturers displaying the latest technology and services for the electrical, lighting, clean energy and low voltage system industry. The Electro Expo educational conference has over 40 presentations with FREE continuing education for industry license holders. Admission to the trade show and conference is FREE, sponsored by our distributors!
The Electro Expo 2015 will kick off with a cocktail reception on Tuesday, March 10, 6:00 p.m. at Pickwick & Frolic Entertainment Club located on East 4th Street in Downtown Cleveland. The reception includes entertainment, announcements of 2014 Product Achievement Award Winners, hors d’oeuvre stations and plenty of networking! Visit our website at http://www.electroexpo.org/ for information and registration. Hope to see you the Expo!
Working off a light agenda Monday, Controlling Board members approved 45 requests, including one that will provide millions of dollars in lottery profits to three school districts.
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission was approved for $5.3 million in lottery profit funds for school districts making master facility plan amendments.
Amanda Clearcreek Local School District in Fairfield County is set to receive more than $3.1 million, Arcanum Butler Local School District in Darke County will receive nearly $2 million and East Palestine City School District in Columbiana County will receive $160,000, according to the request.
The project budget of Amanda Clearcreek’s new K-2 and 3-12 facilities is insufficient because of post-construction issues related to shingle roofs, the request stated. In addition to the state share increase of the project, the request would require a local share increase of $561,275.
The additional Arcanum Butler project funding, meanwhile, will cover the costs of masonry repairs and roof repairs at the new K-12 facility and the East Palestine City Schools project requires a funding increase because of an extended design schedule. The districts will be required to chip in an additional $1.1 million and $15,912, respectively.
OFCC Interim Executive Director David Chovan said in the proposal that the state is looking to recover funds from contractors involved with the Amanda Clearcreek project and will initiate litigation in response to the Arcanum Butler project’s roofing issues.
The Ohio School Facilities Construction Commission and Ohio Facilities Construction Commission met to reorganize for the biennium January 22nd, voting to keep Budget Director Tim Keen as chairman and Administrative Services Director Robert Blair as vice chairman.
Keen said while the commissions previously authorized him to direct the process of naming a permanent replacement for now-retired Director Richard Hickman, he’s not made much headway given his work on Gov. John Kasich’s third biennial budget proposal, due in less than two weeks.
Keen said he expects to be able to do more once the budget is released, and said the panels are being well-served now by David Chovan, the interim director.
The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) said Thursday a new Columbus City Schools building is the 150th public education facility in the state to be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Columbus’ new Scioto middle-high school is a LEED Gold-certified building, the 67th to receive that designation. Ohio has three buildings with the highest designation, LEED Platinum; 77 LEED Silver designees; and 3 LEED Certified, the most basic rating.
OSFC has started requiring all building projects to seek LEED Silver certification at minimum.
The commission said Ohio has the most certified public school buildings in the nation, leading the more populous California, which has 108. An additional 190 projects are in the pipeline in Ohio, the commission said.
“These projects, which represent a commitment to both our school children and the future of our environment, are the direct result of innovative team work from architects, construction managers, trade contractors, and our project partners, the local school districts. I commend them for their accomplishments,” OSFC Executive Director Richard Hickman said in a statement.
LEED designations are derived from a points-based system focused on such design elements as water and energy efficiency, sustainable site development, material selection, and indoor environmental quality.
This spring, AIA Ohio sponsored the second annual Schools of Architecture Competition Charrette. The goals included:
- increasing interaction between the 4 schools of architecture and the profession by engaging students, professors and professionals in the charrette and jury process and
- increasing interaction between the students of local school programs by promoting team submissions that foster collaboration.
The competition was for an “Architectural Congress of Ohio Pavilion” in Kent for inter-institutional collaboration between the State’s schools of architecture, its professional design organizations, and the spaces they collectively influence. The site included a 15,000 sf program with work space, resource space and exhibition space.
The competition resulted in 82 students participating on 28 teams representing the four schools of architecture. Entries this year were all juried by the AIA Ohio Jury after the AI AIA Ohio Board meeting at Kent State University on March 14th. The AIA Ohio Jury reviewed all 28 submissions and selected First, Second and Third Place winners and five Honorable Mentions. The professors and professionals who volunteered their time are to be commended, and the winning students and schools congratulated:
AIA Ohio Jury:
Bruce Sekanick, AIA, Chair
Paul Hollenbeck, AIA
Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA
Sandy Bresler, AIA
Udo Greinacher (University of Cincinnati)
Bart Overly (Ohio State University)
John Weigand, AIA (Miami University)
Bill Willoughby (Representing Kent State University)