The Controlling Board unanimously approved three pilot projects for construction reform on Monday, with one Republican member expressing hope that the projects will be extended to all state construction in the future.
The projects are the $1.75 million renovation of Emery Hall at Central State University; the $1 billion medical center campus project at Ohio State University; and the $7.8 million renovations of the Bowman Oddy Laboratories Building and Wolfe Hall at the University of Toledo. (See The Hannah Report, 3/25/10.)
Paolo DeMaria, the executive vice chancellor of the Board of Regents, told the Controlling Board that the guidelines under HB318 (Sykes) gave the chancellor flexibility in picking the projects and any of the five that were submitted for consideration could have been chosen.
The Ohio State hospital project was selected because it was the largest submitted and there are a variety of uses and approaches that could be studied through that process, he said. TheCentral State project was a small project and would test the use of assistance from the Department of Administrative Services (DAS).
He said the last project for the University of Toledo was selected because it was mid-sized and was the only one that had a strictly educational purpose. The University of Cincinnati andKent State University also submitted projects but not were selected.
Sen. John Carey (R-Wellston) asked if it would have been better to have five projects instead of three in the bill. DeMaria replied that the Regents support construction reform for all projects but will take the guidelines outlined in HB318 and use them to evaluate the three that were allowed.
When asked why he thought more were not submitted for consideration, DeMaria said that the projects will be under more scrutiny than what universities might be used to. He also said that many projects might have been not far enough along or too far along to fit into the pilot project.
Sen. David Goodman (R-New Albany) said he was disappointed that the reform was not across the board, and said he wants the pilot projects to lead to such reform. He asked how the projects will be studied for their effectiveness and efficiency. DeMaria said an outside consultant will be hired to gauge the process.