Alabama’s fire chiefs and construction industry groups are opposing a bill in the legislature that would move oversight of building code compliance on school projects from the state to community colleges and local school boards.
The change would apply to all community college projects, and K-12 and university projects costing up to $500,000. Current law requires all school projects to be cleared by the Division of Construction Management.
The bill’s opponents say it would eliminate an important independent review that make public structures safe and accessible. It would put architects in the position of signing off on their own work, they add.
The house majority leader supports the bill, asserting that it would streamline bureaucracy without sacrificing safety. Five industry groups—Alabama Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama, Subcontractors Association of Alabama, American Institute of Architects - Alabama, and the Alabama Contractors Association—signed a letter opposing the legislation.