Reprinted with permission from The Republic newspaper, December 20, 2021

City officials are putting more funds toward renderings on the NexusPark project.

The Columbus Board of Works has approved an agreement with Perkins &Will Architects, Inc. for additional services on the project. According to City Director of Finance, Operations and Risk Jamie Brinegar, these services will cost $23,400.

NexusPark is a joint venture between the city of Columbus and Columbus Regional Health to transform FairOaks Mall into a health, wellness and recreation center. The city has engaged Perkins &Will as the architect for its fieldhouse and parks department components.

In June of 2021, the board approved a contract with the firm for a little over $1.5 million, plus expenses. Brinegar said that the original contract included two renderings of the project.

“At the time, we believed we would want more, but we weren’t sure how many more we would need,” he said. “We wanted to wait until we were further into the project to really get that nailed down.”

The city has now decided that it wants two more still renderings, an additional master plan design and two professional renderings. Brinegar said that these will be used for both community presentation and for the project’s donor campaign.

Board member Jim Strietelmeier asked if the $23,400 figure was “reasonable.” Board member Mary Ferdon, who is also the city’s director of administration and community development, said that the proposal for additional services initially came back “much higher.”

“Architectural services, unfortunately, can be high, but we reduced it substantially, Jim,” she said. “So we feel comfortable with this number.”