Works pour concrete for the foundation of the performing arts center stage at the City Springs site on Dec. 11. (Photo: John Ruch)
Workers pour concrete for the foundation of the performing arts center stage at the City Springs site on Dec. 11. (Photo: John Ruch)

The $220 million City Springs redevelopment reached a milestone Dec. 11 as workers began pouring the foundation for the performing arts center. That massive building will start rising above-ground by February, construction managers said during a site tour.

“This is a big day,” said City Manager John McDonough, explaining that the performing arts center is the first building in the huge mixed-use plan to begin going up.

Workers are now deep in a foundation hole, near the intersection of Roswell and Johnson Ferry roads, pouring the concrete that serves as the foundation for the center’s stage. Hayes Todd, the project manager for the construction firm Holder, said they are starting with the performing arts center because it is the most complex building and will take the longest to build–all the way through the late 2017 project-finishing timeline. One complexity: Holder has to consider how installing the foundation will affect the acoustics of the yet-to-be-built main stage and theater space, Todd said.

Meanwhile, construction crews are working all over the site, preparing for the several other buildings and uses, including a new City Hall, multifamily residential buildings, retail space and parks. “It’s a lot like playing chess,” said Corey Reece, one of Holder’s construction supervisors.

That work still includes drilling pilings 40 to 80 feet deep into bedrock with huge drilling machines that can be seen over the fence from the street. The largest of those drills recently served on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. And dirt is still being excavated–roughly 280,000 cubic yards of it will have to be moved off-site, said Todd. A single dump truck carries 6 cubic yards, said city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun.

The city also posted a video animation created by Holder that shows the site’s past, present and future construction in under 2 minutes.

City Springs is a public-private partnership redevelopment of a 15-acre site bounded by Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs Circle and Roswell and Johnson Ferry roads.

City Manager John McDonough (right) gestures to the performing arts center construction area at City Springs on Dec. 11 as Holder Construction project manager Hayes Todd looks on. (Photo: John Ruch)

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.