News from AIA National
Almost a year ago, AIA launched its school safety campaign to ensure that all three levels of government address the nationwide issue of school violence with a design-centered approach. Now, we are excited to share that we have taken a big step towards completing one of the campaign’s signature policy goals—to make architectural and design services available to schools eligible for federal grants.
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill (HR 3055) that increases the amount of money in the STOP School Violence grant program by $25 million, for a total of $125 million. Most importantly, the bill now clarifies that STOP grants can fund requests from school districts for architectural and design services. While the total amount of this program is still only a first step, allowing federal money to assist local officials in designing safe schools is a big deal—one that AIA plans to build out to other federal grant programs if this bill gets signed into law.
We need your help with receiving support from the U.S. Senate for this bill. If you are willing to contact your senator on this issue, please text “AIA” to the number 40649 to sign up for Architect Action Alerts.
A letter from the President
Dear AIA Columbus Members,
On Tuesday, May 28, 2019 was AIA Ohio Advocacy Day at the Statehouse. The event was attended by many architects from AIA Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and other Ohio Chapters. We had the opportunity to visit our state legislators and discuss initiatives related to payment assurance for architects, engineers and other consultants who work for private entities. In addition, we had the opportunity to discuss relevant issues related to licensure and designing safer schools. We are also closely monitoring a bill that requires state agencies to reduce the regulatory restrictions by 30% by 2022, including building and fire codes (Department of Commerce).
Our Committee on Advocacy will be following these initiatives very closely and will continue to engage you as we find opportunities. We encourage you to join this committee and/or participate on these initiatives sponsored by the Committee. Consider joining the conversation as it will be great for our community and equally rewarding for you!
Yanitza Brongers-Marrero, AIA
2019 AIA Columbus Chapter President
News from AIA Ohio
Supreme Court Applies Statute of Repose to Contracts in Significant Precedent in Favor of Design Professionals
The Ohio Supreme Court has overturned a Court of Appeals, by enforcing Ohio’s Statute of Repose for litigation involving design professional contracts.
In 2015, a local School District filed a lawsuit against its architect arising from alleged negligent design for the construction of a K-12 school building which was completed nearly thirteen years earlier in 2002.
The School argued that the Statute of Repose does not apply to actions for breach of contract, but only for personal injury actions (“tort”).
The School further argued that the Statute of Repose does not apply to the State, and that the contracts are State contracts due to the State funding of the construction.
Noting that prior case law limiting the statute of repose to negligence, the Supreme Court found that the new statute is different and broader, such that prior court interpretations did not apply.
The Court found that the current Statute of Repose, R.C. 2305.131, limiting actions to 10 years after “substantial completion” or related to “warranty” are only conditions found in a contract, not in a duty for a negligence claim.
The Court further acknowledged the Amicus Brief of AIA Ohio and the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers, in that the opposing party admitted that all design work is performed pursuant to contract.
This is a significant precedent in favor of Architects and Engineers, who may be sued for breach of contract within a discovery period of a statute of limitations, but nevertheless need not face liability more than a decade after performance.
AIA National Advocacy Top Issues
Together, with our members, we advocate for architects, the profession and the built environment at the federal, state, and local levels.
AIA Supports Green New Deal Framework
AIA Supports the Invest in America Act