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Franklin County Courthouse

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's safe to say a Won-Door product opened the way and provided the light for a major government project that covers almost an entire block in downtown Columbus.

The Franklin County Courthouse on 345 S. High Street is part of a $120-million project that includes the Common Pleas Courthouse and the Scioto Mile, connected by a pedestrian corridor from the courthouse to the government center on Mound Street.

A 24'x17' 3 ¼" curving accordion door — built and installed by Won-Door Corporation — provides fire protection and emergency separation as well as freeing up the space for light and access, said the Project Engineer Dan Bossendroek with Design Group.

"Using the Won-Door at the bottom of the second staircase was very helpful," Bossendroek  said. "It kept it open and since there's a tunnel to the south side from the courthouse, which is on the north, it's nice to see some natural light through there."

Bossendroek said the corridor is heavily used and it makes it so much nicer for employees and visitors if the area doesn't look like basement space.

In addition to the door at the bottom of the grand staircase, the courthouse also has 12 other platinum Won-Door FG20 equipped with infrared light beams that separate the elevator lobbies on the six other floors from traffic areas in the case of fire or calamity.

Bossendroek said he's known the Won-Door District Manager for the Ohio-Kentucky area, Jason Rickenbacher, for years but this is the first project where his firm and Won-Door have collaborated.

He's pleased with the outcome.

"It was one of those funny things, one of our first major projects in the area," said Rickenbacher.

Rickenbacher said Won-Door bid three different times before the company was awarded the contract for the 13 doors.

Won-Door could meet the fire code requirements satisfactorily and proposed a price just over $200,000 that was within the Franklin County's project budget, but higher than the next competitor's price, Rickenbacher said. Won-Door's exemplary history in meeting fire codes well ultimately got the company the job.

Sammy Ayyash, senior project manager for Elford Construction, said he was a little skeptical at first about how well everything would work but he's been more than rewarded for going with Won-Door.

"They (the doors) are great," Ayyash said. "This was the first job where I have worked with Won-Door.  They did a good job."

The new courthouse not only becomes a new landmark in downtown Columbus but also an innovative, impressive green project that  includes capturing rain water to reuse as irrigation water,  smart glass and clerestories to reduce heat inside the building and bring in optimum natural light, low-flow plumbing, a green roof, Hickory wood paneling from renewable forest areas and automatic sensors that turn off the lights in unused areas.

The building is designed to be about 25 percent more energy efficient and will save a million gallons of water each year compared to a comparable new code compliant building.