There may be nothing more rewarding than walking through a construction site on a weekly basis. After spending years researching “what if’s”, we are now seeing the real world possibility being constructed out of concrete and steel. We have moved from “if” to “when.” Watching a building being constructed, or in this case heavily renovated, is the very essence of progress. It is visually measurable and thoroughly rewarding to show others the progress and the potential of things to come.
The playscape is definitely the most anticipated element of the project, as far as my kids are concerned.
While partaking on my twice a week walk through the site today, I had the chance opportunity to chat with some of the hard working construction crews that are building our newest and largest performance facility. The overwhelming majority were local, and their excitement about being a part of this transformative project was palpable. I could already see them planning the moment when they came to an event with their significant other, pointed up and said, “I did that.”
Sandblasters, painters, steel, dirt and concrete were all on display and performing their coordinated dance across the site. Now one month into heavy construction on the Griffin Automotive Building, we are seeing a full scale symphony of materials finding their new place in the project. New features begin to extrude from the ground, erupt out of walls and open up in the ground. Soon these will be filled with elevators, stages, covered in masonry and paint, and before you know it we will all be avidly awaiting opening day as punch list items are checked off complete.
As the next couple of weeks approach, I am looking forward to seeing the long steel beams delivered to the south side of the site, where the new stage house will be elevated on the current empty ground. With a couple of cranes in the air and several tons of steel flying around, the sound of our future should be roaring through my office windows nearby. The Amphitheater, part of this first phase of construction, will be showing signs of progress over the next several weeks as foundations for the stage floor, electrical rooms and farmer’s market pavilions are poured. The last sign of construction on this phase will come when work on the neighboring children’s playscape begins early next year. The playscape is definitely the most anticipated element of the project, as far as my kids are concerned.
I stand on the corner of Cedar and Jefferson streets looking towards the southeast with the knowledge of what is on the horizon. We all need to take note on what is coming so that we too can be prepared for our own personal “what if” moment. My hope as you read this, is that you find excitement in the possibilities of how these improvements will allow our city, it’s people and it’s companies to think bigger, plan larger and change all of our “if’s” to “when.”