FairOaks board approves master planning report, structure laser scan

The FairOaks Community Development Corp. Board continues to prepare for the next phases of repurposing FairOaks Mall, Donner Center and the surrounding area, even as the project remains “on pause” due to the pandemic.

The board, which includes Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop and Columbus Regional Health CEO Jim Bickel, approved a $69,800 contract with True Scan to perform a laser scan of the mall property to help gather more detailed information about its structure before considering any renovations.

The city is responsible for $43,500 of the total price tag, with CRH paying the remaining $26,300.

The board also accepted the final master planning report from the design firm hired to guide the city and hospital system through the process of redefining the mall, Donner Center and surrounding areas.

The 84-page document lays out broad concepts for facilities that design firm MKSK believes could be feasible on both properties and phasing recommendations, but “does not represent a design.” No specific facilities have been decided on and no architectural plans have been drawn up.

The report includes recommendations on several types of spaces at FairOaks Mall and Donner Center, including potential adaptive recreational spaces at the mall, retail facilities, Columbus Parks and Recreation office spaces, a multipurpose sports fieldhouse, among other ideas.

The project seeks to transform FairOaks Mall into a community wellness, recreation and sports center, and determine new potential uses for Donner Center and connectivity with the surrounding areas, but has been paused over the past few months as the city and Columbus Regional Health evaluate how to navigate economic and public health uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.