Messer Construction Co. has won the 2013 AGC Build Ohio Award in the “Renovation” category for its 77 North Front Street project in downtown Columbus. The leadership team of Lance Schneider, Matt Thompson and Wade Hutchison completed the renovation project, which sits across Gay Street from City Hall.

Messer managed the complex transformation of the 84-year old building – the city’s former police headquarters, complete with a jail – into state of the art office space. The $32 million project, which used Building Information Modeling (BIM), included a 130,000-square foot interior renovation and five-story exterior glass curtain wall addition. The renovation of the historic building, which had been abandoned for nearly 20 years, is one of the first steps in Columbus’ master plan for a downtown civil services campus. It was completed last March within the original budget, and with no lost-time accidents or missed milestone dates.

Additionally, all work was done without interruption of the surrounding downtown neighborhood and businesses. And during key downtown events nearby that saw more than 125,000 people flood the area close to the active construction site, the project remained ongoing and produced no safety or logistical issues.

“Messer did an outstanding job of ensuring public safety,” said David Bush, Columbus’ Assistant Director of the Department of Finance & Management. “Furthermore, they maintained a clean professional and organized project which resulted in zero lost-time accidents for this project.”

Connecting 77 North Front Street to City Hall is a new 120-foot pedestrian tunnel that sits 20 feet under West Gay Street. To alleviate logistical and operational concerns at City Hall, construction of the tunnel was expedited to be completed in a six-week time window in which city council was not in session.

“We could not ask for better customer service, leadership, follow up and follow through,” said Rick Brewer, City-wide Occupational Safety & Health Manager for the City of Columbus. Brewer added his feeling that that Messer went “above and beyond with [its] help and assistance and always placing safety first.”

Messer vice president and Columbus region leader Rob Verst said his company is proud to have worked on an historic part of downtown.

“Downtown is an integral part of the allure and charm of Columbus,” Verst said. “The opportunity to further-enhance those elements by renovating an historic part of the area is something we took extreme pride in doing. This community is very important to us, and we hope that the renovation of 77 North Front Street will serve as a downtown staple for years to come.”