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Mayor: Columbus Police Headquarters is a 'Lemon'
COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) -- This winter has not been good for the Columbus Police Headquarters, apparently exacerbating the mayor's frustrations surrounding it.
"The CPD building is the worst building ever built in the city of Columbus," Mayor Michael Coleman told ABC 6/FOX 28.
The headquarters was still recovering from flooding problems after cold snap on Jan. 4 caused three water pipes to break. Water soaked most of the eight-story building, with the top floors bearing the brunt of the damage.
Additionally, just this week, city council approved a $1.5-million project to fix a plumbing problem unrelated to the burst pipes.
Both budget-draining projects seem to be undoing the initial cost-savings of the building. City officials admitted that they praised their efforts 22 years ago, when the $28-million project was completed under budget.
"We have been trying to fix it, maintain it for 20 years now and you ask yourself, 'When is enough enough?'" Coleman said. "You can't anticipate what problems the building might bring. One thing is true, I think the building was improperly constructed and I think it is giving us many problems now."
When asked if he was considering a lawsuit, Coleman said it would be unlikely.
"A lot of the companies that built the building are out of existence or the statute of limitations have run out many years ago," he said.
The city has earmarked three-quarters of a million dollars in emergency funds to fix the water damage and mold found in the building. Officials said they are still calculating the total cost of the damages.
The mayor said he has his doubts about what is next.
"You have to wonder: Is it a lemon?" Coleman said. "My folks tell me that as long as we can do these certain things, it will maintain the life of the building on a reasonably operable basis. Only time will tell."
A Columbus Division of Police spokesperson said the restoration work is expected to be completed by the end of March.