A bricklayers union has leased a Columbus Municipal Airport building as a training facility for apprentices.
The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers is leasing an Arnold Street building as the primary educational building for the Bloomington and Louisville, Kentucky local.
Those units offer training for apprentices in 32 counties, said Tim Jenkins, an instructor for the union.
The union signed a three-year lease on the 5,000-square-foot building, amounting to $1,550 per month during the first year. That cost will increase to $1,600 per month for the final two years of the lease.
The Arnold Street building has been vacant for nine months, although multiple offers to lease it were made during that time, Airport Director Brian Payne said.
“Several different people approached us, and they just weren’t the right client,” Payne said.
The Bricklayers and Craftworkers Union has already finished moving in. Payne said the union should have a positive impact on the airport by bringing new faces to the area.
The search for a new training location came after the union closed a Jeffersonville location and consolidated other sites.
The managing director of the union’s local unit, Roger Jones, pointed to a familiarity with the building and the area as a factor in the decision to pursue the airport building.
Jenkins said he has been in the area for 18 years and taught classes in the building when it was used by Ivy Tech as an agricultural instruction facility. The college vacated the building in order to consolidate with another building it leases on airport property. Jenkins said the union has already painted the inside of the building and remodeled restrooms.
He also said the union originally searched for a training location in Seymour but could not find a suitable place. It signed the airport facility lease about two weeks ago, Jones said.
Apprenticeship programs in the building are scheduled to start June 23.