Main Government Center entrance reopens as council considers building’s fate

Local News
Government Center main entrance reopens

After nearly a year of using a temporary entrance into the downtown Columbus Government Center, the main ground floor entrance has reopened. 

The entrance on the south side of the tower has been closed since June 18 when the building had the first in a series of floods.

The nearly $2 million in work to repair major damage on the top floors is now mostly complete. 

It is back to the way it was 10 months ago. 

“The majority of the people coming into the building are coming into the tower for courts,” Sheriff Donna Tompkins said on Monday. “It makes it much more convenient coming into this door and getting right on the elevators, which thankfully are all up and working.” 

The main entrance reopened May 1, just in time for the council to consider the fate of the nearly 50-year-old structure. Since last summer, those with business in the Government Center have been using a temporary entrance on the Second Avenue side of the East Wing.

Public hearings have been held about the building’s future and the council is facing a decision in the coming months. The options include everything from demolition and new construction to a massive overhaul. 

City Manager Isaiah Hugley said he plans to bring information for council to consider at the end of the month or early next month.

Nearly a thousand people a day come in and out of the nearly 50-year-old building.

“By our numbers about 900 people a day come through these doors,” Tompkins said. “Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday are our biggest days because of courts.”

More than 800 had come through the entrance by 1 p.m. Monday.

There will be one adjustment to handicapped parking near the entrance, Tompkins said.

“Before the floods, this area right near the entrance was reserved for handicapped parking,” she said. “And we are not using it for handicapped parking anymore. It is only being used by city vehicles and for picking up and dropping off the mail, for sheriff’s office employees or when there is a contractor coming into the building to do something, they can use this entrance.” 

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