COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–Homebuilders and commercial builders alike are seeing projects slowed because of supply chain issues. And Ohio State University’s slate of big-ticket construction isn’t immune to those challenges.

There are 18 cranes up around campus, Mark Conselyea, vice president for facilities operation and development for Ohio State, told members of the Board of Trustees Master Planning and Facilities Committee this week. The university has 15 projects with price tags above $20 million, with a combined cost of $3.5 billion.

As supply chain issues proliferate, the university is closely monitoring five of its largest projects, although Conselyea said the university continues to push toward target completion dates.

Dan Hedman, the spokesman for the office of administration and planning, said the indicators are notes of caution and that Ohio State is not unique in this problem.

“Given the large scope of these projects, we are watching all elements closely,” Hedman said in an emailed statement.

Hedman said for most projects, the university is monitoring materials like steel, glass, lumber, flooring, insulation and even interior specialized equipment to support programming, like medical equipment for hospital projects. Labor is also a national issue being watched for these large projects.

“I think you’ll see these factors impacting a lot of projects in the region – depending on where they are in the life cycle,” Hedman said.

Here’s a look at the projects the university says its keeping an eye on:

  • Officials are watching the timeline and budget related to the planned combined heat and power plant. The facility will be able to generate 105.5 megawatts of electricity and “will use exhaust energy from natural gas combustion turbine generators to produce high pressure superheated steam through heat recovery steam generators,” according to the Ohio Power Siting Board. The plant will reduce the university’s carbon footprint by about 30%, Conselyea said.
  • Construction on Ohio State’s new lacrosse stadium is scheduled to start in January, a delay from its initial start date. The stadium will include home and visiting game day locker rooms, a 6,700-square-foot concourse level grandstand, and an indoor shooting room and other event space. The facility is scheduled to open January 2023.
  • The 385,000-square-foot outpatient facility planned for the university’s west campus will include a surgical center, proton therapy and medical office space. The facility will also include a 640-space parking garage. The steel is completed and concrete deck pours will continue through this month, the report said. Major mechanical equipment started arriving at the beginning of this month and major medical equipment installation is ongoing, but officials are watching the project’s budget.
  • The timeline for the Interdisciplinary Research Facility is being tracked. The full building enclosure is expected to be completed in December. The Innovation District is expected to generate $3 billion in direct and indirect economic impact, we previously reported, while bringing startups and Fortune 500 companies to the region.
  • Structural steel construction is underway for Wexner Medical Center’s new tower. The north and south elevator shafts are up to level 14. The inpatient facility is scheduled to open in early 2026. The report given to the board stated the project was being monitored for time because of supply chain delays.

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