Columbus will spend $1.47 million more to fix more problems with the city's two-decade-old police headquarters. This time, it's plumbing that needs replacement. The plumbing drains and vent pipe failed because of a "manufacturer's flaw," according to legislation that was before the Columbus City Council, and the company that made them has since gone out of business.
Columbus will spend $1.47 million more to fix more problems with the city’s two-decade-old police headquarters.
This time, it’s plumbing that needs replacement at 120 Marconi Blvd. The plumbing drains and vent pipe failed because of a “manufacturer’s flaw,” according to legislation that was before the Columbus City Council, and the company that made them has since gone out of business.
The council unanimously approved the expense at last night’s meeting, awarding the work to Aggressive Mechanical Contractors of New Jersey.
This work is not connected to the pipes that burst and flooded police headquarters early on Jan. 8, said Dave Bush, deputy director of the city’s Department of Finance and Management. The burst pipes were supply pipes that pump clean water through the building. This new work, which was bid out last year, will focus on wastewater and sanitation pipes.
“Neither (of the burst pipes) would have been affected by this had it been authorized earlier,” he said.
The city already has clearance to spend as much as $1.5 million on repairs stemming from the burst pipes, which soaked the office of Chief Kim Jacobs and wrecked lower floors. Bush said the work probably will cost closer to $1.2 million.
The plumbing is just the latest expense at the problem-plagued headquarters.
Last year, contractors completed work on a $6.2 million insulation project that began in May. Workers took all of the nine-story building’s stone exterior off, installed a proper thermal wrap, and covered spaces that leaked air.
Bush said that work might have prevented more burst pipes this winter. “If that work hadn’t been done, with the severe cold, it would have been far worse,” he said.
Pipes also froze and broke after the $27.7 million building opened in 1991. The work last year was the second attempt to fix the problem; the company that had constructed the building added insulation in 1994, but a study in 2012 found that it was improperly installed.
Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson, chairwoman of the finance committee, said the improvements approved last night are among those that the city had determined were needed in its buildings.
“There have been some challenges with the building, and this helps resolve one of those challenges,” she said.
Three of the businesses responsible for the original construction — Cincinnati-based Harmon Contract, the architectural firm Brubaker-Brandt and the consulting firm Galbreath Co. — have been sold or closed.
“It’s a 22-, 23-year-old building that from its beginning has had challenges,” Bush said. “I’d like to think we wouldn’t be doing this kind of work on a building as young as it is.”