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2 construction projects at risk of going over budget; more work approved

New construction projects were approved while others were deemed at risk for being becoming over budget by the OSU Board of Trustees at an Aug. 29 meeting  Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

New construction projects were approved while others were deemed at risk for being becoming over budget by the OSU Board of Trustees at an Aug. 29 meeting
Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

The construction cranes and chain-linked fences that currently decorate Ohio State’s campus aren’t leaving anytime soon. 

The Board of Trustees approved several construction projects near the Columbus campus that are set to cost a total of more than $121 million during its Friday meeting. 

Meanwhile, some of the current construction projects are at risk of running over budget because of unforeseen costs.

The Board heard a report on the status of construction projects at OSU. Most projects were considered to be safely on budget, but two were listed as being currently on-budget but with concerns.

The North Campus Residential District project received this warning because of increased construction costs, and the East Regional Chilled Water Plant is also a cause for concern because of the increased price of the “distribution of mechanics,” said Finance Committee Chair Michael Gasser during the Aug. 29 meeting. Both are being “monitored closely, and contingency plans are in place,” he said.

The North Campus Residential District renovation is slated to cost $370 million and is expected to be completed by fall 2016. The project involves adding 3,200 additional beds through the construction of 11 new buildings on North Campus.

The East Regional Chilled Water Plant is budgeted to cost $66.8 million. The goal of the project is to provide chilled water to Academic Core North buildings and it’s set to be completed in two phases. The first phase was completed ahead of time in July, Administration and Planning spokeswoman Alison Hinkle said. Phase two is set to involve installing three additional chillers, which will provide chilled water to the North Residential District following completion. Hinkle did not immediately respond to an email requesting information about the timeline of the second phase over the weekend. 

Cannon Drive relocation

The stretch of Cannon Drive between King Avenue and Herrick Drive is also set to relocated to allow for more space for the medical center. The move is expected to cost $37.7 million from “local funds and leveraged partnerships,” according to a Board release. The Board approved OSU funding for 50 percent of the professional service costs for the $1.9 million first phase of the project. The project is a collaboration between OSU and the city of Columbus.

Fire system replacements

Fire alarm systems are set to be evaluated and replaced in several campus buildings. Air quality and control measures are also slated to be assessed in Rhodes and Doan halls. The Board approved professional service and construction contracts for $5.3 million to cover the total project cost. Funds are slated to come from state appropriations.

Golf course improvements

The current irrigation system at an OSU golf course will be updated with mechanical and electrical improvements to its pump house, which houses irrigation pumps to water the grounds. Improvements to irrigation heads and supply lines among others are slated to be made to the intake from an existing lake. $500,000 in professional services contracts and construction contracts worth $3.8 million were approved by the Board. The total cost is set to be $4.3 million, coming from auxiliary funds.

Mount Hall renovation 

Mount Hall is set to be renovated to provide space for the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Distance Education. The Board approved $1.9 million worth of professional service contacts, while the project is expected to cost $15 million total. That money is slated to come from local funds. 

Pomerene and Oxley halls renovation

Pomerene and Oxley halls are set to undergo renovations to house the newly-formed data analytics major. The makeover will include creating classroom and instructional spaces, computer labs, staff and faculty offices, meeting and conference areas, and support spaces. Baker Commons will also be renovated to house the Office of Disability Services, which is currently located in Pomerene. Trustees approved $7.1 million in professional services contracts and the project is expected to cost a total of $58.9 million, coming from state appropriations and auxiliary funds.

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