October 18, 2018

New Ohio Center Garage Will Dazzle

Within a couple of weeks, work will begin at the site of a new Convention Center garage unlike any other in the city. When complete, the $20 million Ohio Center Garage, a 650 space parking facility on the east side of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, will be notable as much for its dazzle as for its state-of-the-art function.

The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority’s board earlier this year selected architect Schooley Caldwell to design the Ohio Center Garage, which will be built on the FCCFA’s main service lot. The garage will serve a growing number of Convention Center visitors as well as guests at the soon-to-expand Hilton Columbus Downtown.

While the latest technology will make parking and payments easier and more efficient, users may first notice a familiar sculpture on the outside of the building. A huge neon installation adjacent to the north side of the garage will light up the night. The sculpture, by internationally renowned artist Stephen Antonakos, consists of a red circle and a partial pink arc bisected by a straight blue line and a squiggly green line. The piece was acquired from the Columbus Museum of Art, which was unable to keep it when the museum expanded several years ago.

On the east side of the garage, night travelers heading south into downtown on Third Street, will be mesmerized by waving sheets of an architectural polycarbonate mesh material, lit by LED lights that can shift colors continually. The design was inspired by environmental artist and sculptor Ned Kahn.

Once inside, parkers using elevator lobbies will be greeted by ceramic tile art installations similar to those already in place at the FCCFA South, Vine Street and Goodale garages, said FCCFA Senior Project Manager Scott Reed.

The garage is expected to open in 2020. While construction on the actual garage structure won’t begin until this spring, site work is imminent and a new Convention Center cooling tower required to make way for the new garage will soon go up. The cooling tower will be delivered on several trucks by the end of the month, to be erected in place by a crane.

In the meantime, Schooley Caldwell has been working diligently in developing design and construction documents to guide final plans for the garage.

“The design team has completed several early document packages for new cooling towers, site work, utilities and foundations, which will allow for portions of construction to begin prior to the full garage documents being complete,” explained Josh Cosgrove, project manager for Corna Kokosing, which is building the garage.

The FCCFA will keep area businesses up-to-date on activities that may affect them through the duration of the project.

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