On Oct. 17, ground was broken for the construction of Columbus Fire Station No. 35, which is the first City of Columbus project to be built under a new Community Benefits Agreement.
The work to build the new 26,750-square-foot fire station will create between 50-70 jobs for members of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, including members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 24.
Under terms of the agreement, residents of the City of Columbus must complete 20 percent or more of the total project work hours, while at least 25 percent of total project work hours must be completed by tradesmen and tradeswomen who live in Franklin County or adjacent counties.
This historic project is important to the area building trades, as the city is considering using a similar agreement to cover the construction of a new recreation center.
Initially expected to cost around $10.5 million, an increase in material costs due to tariffs and the addition of new city-requested safety features not included in the original design could push the price tag up to $12 million.
The inclusion of additional safety features in the final design delayed the project by several months and it will be up to tradesmen and tradeswomen to complete the fire station on time.
According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch, plans to build a new fire station on the Far East Side were delayed about 10 years due to the Great Recession and then for a few additional months as Columbus City Council reviewed additional upgrades to the original design.
The changes combined to add roughly 3,000-square-feet to the structure in order to limit firefighters’ exposure to cancer causing chemicals in the station’s living quarters.
Work on Fire Station No. 35 is expected to wrap up by spring 2020.