Columbus Convention Center Weathers Water Main Break

TSE STAFF
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Columbus, OH –The Greater Columbus Convention Center was open for business Thursday after the pre-dawn rupture of a downtown water main inundated the facility and even stirred up fears of a structural collapse. Engineers inspected the center Wednesday and determined that the damage was cosmetic and that things could be put back to normal with the help of 600 blowers and some new carpeting and drywall where needed.

“We received outstanding cooperation from everybody involved to investigate the source of the problem and rectify it, said SMG Regional General Manager Craig Liston.

“The majority of our facility looks great,” Liston told Trade Show Executive. “Approximately one third of our building is not ready for shows as we continue with the cleanup, but we will have most of that space ready in time for move-in of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association annual convention and trade show by Wednesday of next week.”

The convention center is hosting a leadership conference this week. The weekend 2008 Athletic Cheer & Dance National Championship Series competition was also given the green light although it was moved from Exhibit Halls E and F to Battelle Hall.

Liston said, however, some meeting rooms would likely be out of commission for a few more days so that carpeting could be replaced and floors checked for further damage.

The trouble stemmed from a break in a 16-inch water pipe that dated back to the 1930s. The water poured into the convention center, forcing evacuation of a cleaning crew and raising fears among firefighters that at least some of the building’s supports had been dangerously compromised. A further inspection, however, deemed the building safe to occupy. Water service was restored Wednesday night and the streets around the convention center were opened to traffic.

Reach Craig Liston at (614) 827-2500 or cliston@columbusconventions.com