COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Construction has resumed as normal on Ohio State University’s $1.8 billion inpatient hospital at Wexner Medical Center after a cracked concrete column threw an unexpected wrench in steelwork installation.
University spokesperson Dan Hedman said after multiple reviews, the hospital project’s engineer of record and a third-party engineer determined the construction site could fully reopen on Dec. 5, after the column was repaired. But the delay impacted some weatherproofing on the west side of the hospital.
After detailed inspections, the construction team determined some of the west facade near the column needs to be repaired or replaced to tightly seal windows, Hedman said. The needed repairs do not impact the project’s structural integrity.
Before the discovery of the cracked column, which halted steelwork installation on upper floors just before Thanksgiving, steel frames had been installed up to the 25th floor, and brick-laying and interior framing were ongoing on lower levels. According to a Dec. 12 update, construction is about 40% done, and workers are preparing for drywall, mechanical, electrical and plumbing installation as well as escalator installation on the first two floors.
At 1.9 million square feet, the 820-bed inpatient hospital is one of Ohio State’s most ambitious construction projects – and after its completion, will be the 10th tallest building in Columbus. The hospital will be home to an emergency department, imaging center, operating rooms, critical care and surgical beds, and a neonatal intensive care unit. Hedman said the university expects the hospital to open as scheduled in 2026. Although the university doesn’t have an updated budget prediction, Hedman said Ohio State expects that the contractor will be responsible for the costs of the repairs.