The ongoing deterioration of a rear balcony and steps recently forced a modification to the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center.

At the time the MSC at 3600 Tremont Road was built in 1972, a set of concrete steps and a balcony was constructed to the backside of the facility to provide another entry and exit for the City Attorney's Office.

In recent years, that feature has eroded to the point its access was cut off to city employees in fall 2019.

Rather than continue to repair or even rebuild the structure, city officials decided to remove it at the outset of this year.

"The concrete had required repairs a number of times over the years, and it was decided that the best thing to do would be to remove it," said Emma Speight, Upper Arlington's community-affairs director. "Repairs had been made a couple of times since I've been with the city -- so since 2001.

"Issues had reappeared by the summer of 2018, ultimately leading to the decision to remove them."

According to a Nov. 12, 2019, staff report to City Council from Brian Mastin, the city's facilities manager, the balcony and steps were in "very poor condition, and pieces of concrete are falling off of it."

"This is an immediate safety concern and therefore it is recommended the work is expedited," Mastin said in the report.

"There is also a retaining wall next to the sally port that is falling over."

Work began Jan. 7 to remove the structure.

Although the balcony portion won't be replaced, stairs leading to the rear, or east side, of the building that serves as City Hall will be installed.

"Once the old patio is removed, a new concrete stoop and stairs will be put back in place, and it will connect to existing concrete sidewalk," Mastin stated in his report.

Speight said the project is being completed by Procon Professional Construction Services at a cost of $70,955.

The project hasn't had an impact on work space within the MSC, but it has shut off access temporarily to six parking spaces.

Speight said the work also would include some repairs to the sidewalk and grading work, as well as landscaping restoration.

"The work is expected to be completed by the end of April but is subject to weather conditions and any possible delays that may arise as a result of the current COVID-19 situation," she said.