Dear AIA Columbus Members, Affiliates, Sponsors, and Supporters,
Hopefully this letter finds you and your family healthy and safe.
First, I'd like to thank everyone who has volunteered to help address the many issues in this crisis. I'd also like to thank Elizabeth and Qisti for maintaining the continuity of the Chapter's operations--other than the fact that all meetings are virtual, we would never be able to tell there is anything out of the ordinary going on.
We continue to manage the impact of COVID-19 on our Chapter's activities. We have made the decision to continue to offer virtual meetings and events during the extended social distancing period through April 30th per the federal government's recommendation.
I want to update you on what we're doing to maintain a semblance of normalcy and to continue delivering high-quality programming to our members. For April we will be rolling out more virtual town hall meetings like the Business Continuity and Development session. We will also be holding a webinar with the former Mayor of Columbus, Michael B. Coleman, and are in discussions with Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA to reschedule the lecture that was postponed in March to a webinar format. Finally, our committees will continue to meet virtually.
During these difficult times, we strive to provide relevant programming that addresses your immediate needs. Please click this link to let us know how to better serve you. Your input will help us adapt our programming in this constantly changing situation.
Lastly, I want to thank you for your patience and flexibility when it comes to rapidly adjusting our schedules and adapting to an online focused delivery of programming. We are going to be stronger when this passes because of the demonstrated will and cohesion of our Chapter.
Mike Vala, AIA
2020 AIA Columbus Chapter President
COVID-19 Relief Package Information from AIA National
How you can help as Architects during COVID-19
As our city grapples with the COVID-19 illness sweeping through the world, we are all, as citizens, looking for ways to help contain or stop the spread. As architects, we can offer vast knowledge of buildings, building systems, and how the public's welfare is impacted by the built environment.
AIA Columbus has sent letters to several local government entities such as the Governor's Office, City Council, Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio Senate, and the Ohio Department of Health to offer our membership as a resource for city and local leaders looking for information.
AIA Ohio is compiling a list of healthcare architects throughout the state. If you are currently doing healthcare work, please identify your firm and any key members of your firm who could help answer questions or give guidance if needed. Click here to access the form.
AIA Ohio COVID-19 Response
Ohio is in some unchartered territory with the outbreak of COVID-19. Architects and Engineers need to take up the challenge and help our state and local governments in this time of need. AIA Ohio has started a Task Force: AIA Ohio – COVID-19 Response Task Force to address some of these issues.
AIA Ohio and local chapters across the state are calling on all who are able, to volunteer their time and or donate critical resources to this effort.
What we are looking to do:
1. We are looking to compile a list of health care architects throughout the state. If you are currently doing health care work, please identify your firm and any key members of your firm who could help answer questions or give guidance if needed. Click here to access the form.
2. We are also looking to compile a list of consultants who have been working in the health care field. These would include HVAC engineers, Commissioning agents, and HVAC contractors who could help Ohio hospitals adjust air balance needs in a crisis. Email
if you can share information on consultants.
AIA Ohio has outlined a resources page on our website related to the COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.aiaohio.org/covid-19-resources/. We will keep this updated with changes as they occur, so check back frequently.
COVID-19 Legislative Update
There is a lot of action on Capitol Hill to help mobilize relief for small business owners and workers during these unprecedented times. We feel that it is important that AIA members stay abreast of these developments and want to provide periodic updates as the information develops. Click here to read more.
Resources for Architects
As news of the COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to dominate conversation and news cycles, the executive committee held a conference call yesterday to discuss precautions we should take to try and keep our membership safe. While we realize there are not currently any reported cases in the Central Ohio area, we feel it would be in the Chapter's best interest to limit our exposure by limiting gatherings of large groups of people, as advised by the CDC. Out of an abundance of caution, we are taking the action of suspending in-person meetings and chapter events until March 31, at which time we will re-evaluate the situation. We suggest our committees conduct business via teleconference.
All of this may seem like extreme measures given the current situation, but we are interested in being proactive rather than reactive, realizing that many of the events we have scheduled in the next few weeks can be rescheduled with relative ease, while the health of our members and staff cannot be repaired quite so easily should anyone be exposed to the virus.