AIA Ohio News
OFCC Conference 2013: Save the Date
July 25 – Cincinnati
July 30- Columbus
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission announces its first conference since the consolidation of the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the State Architects Office.
The annual conference, now known as the OFCC Conference, combines A/E-CM Regional Meetings, SAO College, and Ohio Construction Reform.
The OFCC Conference will bring together public owners, school districts, architects, engineers, landscape architects and planners, construction managers, design-builders, contractors and suppliers, consultants and specialty service providers, and construction attorneys.
Stay tuned for more information.
Bill to Establish Residential Contractor's Licensing Heard (HB140)
The House Commerce, Labor and Technology Committee took testimony May 9 on HB 140 which would establish licensing for residential construction contractors.
Rep. Patmon introduced his bill, which would require residential and nonresidential construction contractors to obtain a state license. The bill would also create the Residential Builders' and Maintenance and Alteration Contractors' Licensing Board to regulate licensure and performance of contractors.
Patmon listed a number of skills that would be licensed under the bill, including but not limited to:
- Concrete work
- Swimming pool installation
- Waterproofing basements - Excavation
Patmon said it is not right that the only thing a contractor must do before starting work is obtain insurance and a bond, without any other necessary qualifications.
The representative told the committee that he would get back to the members on two questions: how many other states implement what he is proposing and how much would it cost.
On the issue of cost, Patmon said that he believed the tax benefit created by deterring scammers and promoting legitimate businesses would more than offset the cost. He also talked about the exemptions in the bill, which included homeowners who wish to conduct work on their own property.
Ohio Expands List of National Green Ribbon Schools
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced 2013 National Green Ribbon Schools Monday, and among them is Kenston High School in Chagrin Falls.
In its second year, the federal program seeks to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education.
Kenston generates 70 percent of its energy with an onsite wind turbine and another 5 percent with passive solar water heating. It has saved 500,000 gallons of water by eliminating irrigation and installing low-flow faucets, and has increased recycled waste by 1.6 tons since 2009. The school incorporates environmental data into its curriculum and hosts the student organization Envirothon. Kenston is also a three-time recipient of the Buckeye Best Healthy Schools Gold Award.
"I applaud the innovative measures used each day at Kenston High School," state Superintendent Dick Ross said in a release. "Kenston is teaching its boys and girls to be conscious of the environment [and] to be good stewards of the community's resources, and, at the same time, blending these lessons into its curriculum."
Pennsylvania, California, Wisconsin and Washington led the nation with five Green Ribbon awards each this year, followed by Massachusetts, Minnesota and Alabama with four, and Kentucky, West Virginia, Florida, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Maryland and Washington, D.C. with three.
"Today's honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green," Duncan said in a statement. "They are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs; improve health, performance and equity; and provide an education geared toward the jobs of the future. In fact, the selected districts are saving millions of dollars as a result of their greening efforts."
A total of 32 state education agencies, which must nominate Green Ribbon candidates, participated in 2013, up from 28 in 2012, the first year of the program.
Ohio had two Green Ribbon schools last year, Loveland High School and North Adams Elementary School.
Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also congratulated Green Ribbon winners.
"U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Green Ribbon Schools are not only cutting costs thanks to energy-saving practices and use of more efficient technology, but they're also reducing instances of pollution-related illnesses like asthma, a leading cause of student absence," Perciasepe said. "The students who attend these schools are better prepared than ever to become the next generation of environmental stewards and bring about a healthier, more sustainable future."
OSFC Hits 1,000 Building Milestone
More than 1,000 buildings have been renovated, significantly repaired and built brand new under the programs and assistance of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, a milestone announced during the commission's Thursday meeting.
Rick Savors, OSFC's media relations chief, recalled the moment in November 2000 when he traveled to Ross County to attend the opening of a building for the Huntington Local School District, the first opening of a school facility under the commission.
The projects have been constructed or renovated through the commission's funding programs or buildings with commitments through the expedited partnership programs, according to Savors, who said the latest tally as of March 1 was 1,031 buildings.
Several members of the commission noted the meaning of such an achievement considering the projects affected many students in the process," Savors said.
"The buildings housed over 570,000 students throughout Ohio -- in educational-ready facilities -- facilities that are secure and that have the latest in technology.
"Beginning tomorrow -- we'll start on our next 1,000," said Executive Director Richard Hickman, who joined other commission members in thanking the staff for their work.
The OSFC passed a resolution Thursday to mark the occasion. Commission chair Tim Keen, also director of the Office of Budget and Management (OBM), noted his history with school facility construction started during his time working as a staffer in the Legislature.
"I remember working in the Office of Budget and Management on the plan that Gov. Taft put together to have a long-term comprehensive funding plan for the construction of school facilities and significant progress has been made since that time and it's kind of amazing," said Keen.
In other actions, the commission adopted updates to the state's design manual which included upgrades to facilities' telephone system to help deliver more information to emergency personnel in the event of a 911 call.
Poll: Voters Oppose Governor's Tax Plan
While Ohio voters may be softening on Gov. John Kasich himself, they don't show that same affinity to his tax plan in the introduced version of HB59 (Amstutz), the biennium budget, a new poll finds.
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which released a poll on Thursday showing Kasich above 50 percent in job approval rating and giving him better marks on how he handles the state budget, saw voters from that same interview mixed on various proposals in his latest budget.
By equal amounts, 48 percent to 42 percent, voters don't like the idea of reducing the state income tax while increasing revenues from the sales tax.
Kasich has proposed a 20 percent overall income tax reduction using a mixture of new revenues from severance and sales taxes, but has also proposed reducing the state sales tax rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent while expanding the sales/service tax to most services including architectural services. Nearly two-thirds of Republican respondents (64 percent) said the idea of decreasing the income tax and expanding the sales tax is a good idea, while 71 percent of Democrats say it is a bad idea. Independent voters split 44 percent to 43 percent.
Republicans are slightly less favorable about reducing the sales tax while expanding it, but still favor it by 55 percent majority, while 67 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of independents oppose it. Overall, 51 percent of respondents oppose the idea, while 41 percent said it is a good idea.
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AIA Ohio’s Legislative affairs program provides information and leadership through advocacy and monitoring of legislation and regulations at the state level. By collaborating with allied professionals, industry representatives, code officials, and state and local representatives, AIA Ohio strives to build strategic alliances to address issues of public health, safety and welfate, design excellence and in advancing the quality of life through the built environment.
As advocates of innovative approaches to legislation, AIA Ohio advances state regulations that benefit the practice of architecture and promotes good design that positively affects the quality of life of for all citizens of Ohio. Through our efforts, AIA Ohio works to educate the public and legislators on a wide facet of issues relating to architecture including:
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Working through our highly qualified staff and experienced membership, AIA Ohio proposes regulations, positions architects as leaders, and tracks and responds to legislation that benefits both architects and users of the built environment alike. Additionally, through our Political Action Committee, we strive to support legislation, and allies in the legislature, that advances the needs of our members.
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