Reprinted with permission from The Republic newspaper, April 25, 2023

Columbus’ new 150,000-square-foot fieldhouse is starting, quite literally, to take shape, after several months of preparation. Contractors have begun constructing the Circle K Fieldhouse at NexusPark. According to Force Construction project manager Brett Siepka, two 275-ton cranes were mobilized and assembled last week in preparation for the subassembly work, which started Monday.

“You’ll see out there that we have each, these giant 130-foot rafter frames that are assembled,” he said. “Each crane will pick one of those and place it on top of the columns, so each rafter section, your north side and south side, we’ll lift it up at the same time and joined at the

peak in the middle, bolted into place in the middle and then bolted into each column.”

He added that once the roof structure is in place, Force workers will then install the remaining roof panels, followed by precast around the exterior of the building and insulated metal wall panels.

They will then work to “detail out” the inside of the building.

Force expects the fieldhouse to receive a certificate of occupancy in the final quarter of 2023, Siepka said.

The Circle K Fieldhouse is intended to be “a sports and events venue that will host a multitude of different types of sporting and non-sporting events,” including local, regional and state sports tournaments, as well as potentially hosting trade

shows, conferences, graduations and large-scale community events, according to NexusPark officials.

NexusPark is a joint effort between the city of Columbus and Columbus Regional Health to transform the former FairOaks Mall into a health, wellness and recreation center. The campus is also expected to include parks department and community spaces, restaurant and retail areas and CRH facilities.

Outdoor community park and gathering spaces are planned, and Dunham’s is expected to remain on-site under its current lease.

Siepka said that Force has had a good experience working with the city and its partners on the endeavor.

“It’s been a very well-run, smooth project, and this our next challenge,” he

said. “We’ve already accomplished the footings being in place, are in place, the building pad, subassembly of the rafters went together as planned.”