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Ask The Mayor: Columbus Lienhoop On Architecture School

The mayor's State of the City Address, the future of the Donner Center, immigrant worker status, State Street renovations and city cyber security insurance.

On this week's installment of Ask The Mayor, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop addresses these issues and more. Listen to the full conversation with Indiana Newsdesk anchor Joe Hren by clicking on the play button above, or read some of the questions and answers below. A portion of this segment airs 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. Wednesday on WFIU.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Hren: At least for this show, I think the big news that’s happened since we’ve last talked is the approval of the IU architecture Columbus school, it’s a Masters of Architecture degree and that’s something you really hoped would get approved. What's next in this process?

Lienhoop: Columbus has had a pretty rich architectural heritage and this is the latest icing on the cake, so we're really excited to be able to show off the city. So now you could say the hard work starts now to make this happen.

The program will start in fall of 2018. We will have students and faculty here. The first year could be twenty students, but I think over time we could have several hundred. The university needs to find a location. I'm told they could handle the first year in the facility they have, but everybody understands that's not a long term solution.

We're hopeful this will be located downtown. We really want the IU flag downtown and foot traffic, the economic activity.

Hren: I read where immigration attorneys are still providing assurance to immigrants about their status in the U.S. and here in Columbus, we talked about Cummins more specifically last time, is the city offering any assistance in this regard?

Lienhoop: No, it's really outside our ability to provide. But there are several companies here in town that provide immigration attorneys or access to them. There was an event at the Commons last week sponsored by LHP which hires a number of Chinese and Indian engineers and part of the message that came through is there is a lot of chatter, but it's a little difficult sometimes to tell what's really going to happen. And so before people get too excited or too concerned, they need to double-check to make sure they're getting the straight story.

Hren: During the City Council meeting Tuesday night you plan to talk more about the future construction of State Street, not so much what's going on now?

Lienhoop: Correct, what's going on now is to add bicycle and pedestrian lanes to the existing State Street bridge. The bridge will be widened and striped a little differently. The current proposal is to extend the beautification project and the lanes further east down toward the area of the Mapleton stoplight.

What we're trying to do is carry a little bit of that look if you will of what we have in Columbus out towards that part of town. Plus, that's now the main entry point into Columbus from the east.

Hren: We’ve been hearing about terrorism attacks using cyber and internet to shut down cities and countries so it was interesting to come across a news report where the city purchases cyber-security insurance, how did this come to be?

Lienhoop: Well hopefully you never use it. The whole idea is we may experience a loss of data, the insurance won't replace the data, but it will go for the effort to replace the data. We have payroll information for a great number of people, so you'd hate for some of that information to get outside the city so when that happens, typically it's the agency that's affected will pay for some kind of credit monitoring for a couple of years and in anticipation that we might get caught with that, we now have some insurance that will help fund that.

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