Construction Still Booming in Central Ohio.
Despite two raging pandemics – coronavirus and opioid addiction – construction crews finished work on the new Franklin County Forensic Science Center on time and on budget.
Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, said the project was built mostly by building trades members.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the new $37 million facility on Frank Road nearly triples the space of the old building and has a layout that will allow bodies to flow through admission, diagnostic imaging, autopsy and other areas more securely and efficiently.
Compared to the old building, the toxicology lab is bigger and has more bio-secure space, providing staff members working with potentially dangerous samples greater safety protection.
The new facility was also constructed to help teach students. There is an observation area behind glass, which allows officers, nursing students and others to be on hand without getting in the way of forensic pathologists as they work.
While it is not a hospital, Hager noted construction was similar to that of a medical facility. For instance, the project required ICRA certification and members of UA Local 189 ran medical gas lines.
Franklin County leaders were very happy with the project and the work performed by the area union tradesmen and tradeswomen, Hager said.
In addition to the new morgue, work continues on the new Franklin County Correctional Facility.
Phase I of the new jail remains on schedule, as 200 members of the building trades are in the midst of constructing the 429,000-square-foot jail, which is being built under a Memorandum of Understanding with Franklin County.
The MOU is similar to a Project Labor Agreement, but includes workforce goals such as diversification and local hiring.
Hager expects the $175 million project to wrap up next summer.
While the coronavirus pandemic temporarily slowed some central Ohio jobsites, all projects are back up and running, and the demand for highly trained and highly skilled union tradesmen and tradeswomen has never been higher in central Ohio.
“Anyone who wants to work can work,” Hager added.