Region Builders Update
by Mike Novak, AIA
AIACV Director 2015-2017
As the liaison to Region Builders for the AIACV, I am excited to share with you an update on where Region Builders is focusing this year and how it directly benefits the AIACV.
Let me first address the state of American politics and how it has enforced some perceptions of organizations like Region Builders. Many see Region Builders as a bullish business-first/community-last agenda. This is not true. Region Builders is a bullish organization and that is why we have a seat at the table, but they are a long-term organization with a long-term commitment to our community. We leverage RB’s energy and influence to manage policy issues that directly benefit our community and our trade. The focus for 2017, below, reflects this commitment.
Local Designer Involvement
The AIACV is an active participant in molding and guiding the Region Builders agenda and we are already seeking important goals like majority involvement of local design firms in the future of the Convention Center. The mayor is supportive of that goal and will help drive that forward as the project progresses.
Clarity and Streamlining of Jurisdictional Review
There are several groups and individuals pushing for various types of reform for plan review process and fees. Region Builders is looking at the architectural and owner perspectives and pressing for clarity of fees and a smoother permitting process overall. This is independent and in addition to the region’s Permit Simplicity and PASS programs already underway.
Regional Project Support
Region Builders has a constant interest in continued support of projects in our region as the “pipeline” that provides work for the region’s architects and improves our community at large. This year, there is bullish project support for building and improvement projects independent of infrastructure roadways, bridges, etc.
Though we as an organization don’t typically get involved in the building trades, there is a shortage of trades people left over from an exodus during the recession and that shortage directly affects our projects in every way. Region Builders is carefully focusing effort on school districts to support trade education programs and provide a more robust and skilled labor force in our region. This is very important for our building economy overall.
Thank you for your time and your support.