Reprinted with permission from The Republic newspaper, March 8, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Interior demolition continuesat the former FairOaks Mall, with most of the more intense work occurring in the former Carson’s location.

The store is the majority of Columbus Regional Health’s portion of NexusPark, saidspokeswoman Kelsey DeClue. She noted that the space is “massive, once you start taking the walls and partitions down.”

“This’ll keep going until late spring, early summer,” she said, in regards to the store’s interior demolition. “Obviously, you can see it’s extensive dismantling work.”

CRH facility engineer Casey Gibson said the work underway includes removal of interior walls, ceiling track and grid, and lights, with other components being removed later on.

The former Carson’s closed in 2018. It was one of the mall’s original anchor tenants in1990 and initially operated as an Elder-Beerman. The space saw some use in the fall of 2020, operating as a voting location during the election.

Katy Waddell, project manager with Turner Construction, said interior demolition of the store began in late January. As of late February, it was the only area where major demolition was underway.

“We’ve gotten started on make safe in some of the other areas, because with it being an active mall, we’re doing our due diligence,” she added.

Interior demolition of all spaces is expected to be complete in late spring or early summer, though some exterior demolition may continue past that point, said Waddell. Following construction at the site, the goal is for CRH to achieve overall occupancy at NexusPark in the third quarter of 2023. However, an estimate for the hospital’s first occupancy which CRH officials have previously said will take place in the former Carson’s is not available at this time.

“We’re still working towards what our goals are, so we’re not ready to throw out any dates yet,” said David Lenart, director of facilities and materials for the hospital.