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10/09/2012

Hickman tabbed to lead new Ohio Facilities Construction Commission

To the surprise of no one, Richard M. Hickman has been named as the executive director of the new Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Hickman most recently served as the executive director of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, one of two major state agencies – the other being the Office of the State Architect – that were merged effective September 10 to create the new OFCC.

The new commission will be responsible for overseeing capital projects for state agencies, state-supported universities and community colleges, and the state's K‐12 school construction and renovation program.

The commission consists of three members, Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen, who will serve as chairman; Department of Administrative Services Director Robert Blair, the vice chairman; and Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections Director Gary Mohr.

The stated goal of the OFCC is to bring consistency to the construction of public facilities and provide for the continuing implementation of new construction management models approved by the General Assembly in 2011.

"One of the concerns we have heard consistently from the construction industry is that in order to reap the benefits of the new alternative construction delivery methods, the state needs to make certain that they are implemented in a consistent manner across all agencies," Keen said in a release.

"The consolidation of the two agencies primarily responsible for public facilities construction in Ohio will make that happen. It will also mean additional administrative efficiencies and cost savings at the state level by bringing the two highly‐ effective staffs under one roof."

The OFCC will be responsible for construction delivery methods, construction documents, and process and procedures and will approve, award and administer design, construction and other specialty contracts, according to the commission. OSFC will continue to exist within the new consolidated agency and focus on programmatic issues related to funding K-12 construction projects.

Prior to returning to lead the schools' agency in 2011, Hickman had served in that same post under Governor Bob Taft from June 2005 to January 2007. In between, he was Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

He also served as Deputy Director of the General Services Division at DAS and Public Service Director for the City of Columbus.  His private sector experience spanned over 25 years in the airline industry.

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