Future of Columbus Government Center topic of public meetings

Local News

The first of three public meetings about the future of the downtown Columbus Government Center will be held Monday night.

The future of the Government Center is something that will have to be addressed by the Columbus Council. Councilors and the city started hearing options last fall, but this is the first time they have heard public opinion. 

The tower and two wings are in disrepair and busted water pipes and flooding last year exposed many of the issues.  

Aaron and Clements, a Columbus-based construction management firm, has made four recommendations to the council. Those recommendations, which range from demolition and new construction on site to moving the courts and administrative offices to other sites,  will be discussed at the public meetings. 

The city has also hired two local architectural firms — Hecht Burdeshaw Architects and 2WR — to assess the four options.

The four options presented include: 

— A complete demolition of the east and west wings and garage. A new judicial center would be built on the existing site. The tower would be renovated for city administration offices and a new parking garage would be built. 

— A complete demolition of the tower, wings and garage on the existing site. A new judicial center, new administration building, and new parking garage would be constructed. 

— A complete demolition of two wings and garage. A new judicial center with fewer floors, new garage, and administration building will be constructed on a site to be determined.  

— Move the new building to a different site. It would include a new judicial center and administration building.

Over the next week, three important public hearings are being held as the city begins to get serious about the future of the Government Center. The 48-year-old 12-story downtown building houses several city offices, including the mayor’s, as well as the court system. 

Meeting schedule:

— Monday,4-6 p.m. in Council chamber at Citizens Service Center off Macon Road.

— Tuesday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Salvation Army Community Center, Warm Springs Road.

— Monday, Feb. 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Faith Worship Center, off Victory Drive.

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