Nearly 4 months in, construction on Harrisburg's Kroc Center on target for 2011 opening

Three months and three weeks after ground was broken for Augusta's $100 million Salvation Army Kroc Center, the project is 20 percent complete and slightly ahead of schedule.


"It's moved fast, and we've had no rain days at all," said Derek Dugan, the center's community relations director.

With a projected opening in June 2011, workers expect to finish masonry walls for the pool and fitness center this week. Work on the roof and exterior brick walls should start sometime in June.

"See those two big holes? That's where the water slide will go through -- and in," Dugan said during a tour of the construction site Tuesday. "And out in front, this will all open up to a sun deck facing Broad Street."

The 17-acre, 100,000-square-foot project will include an aquatics center, performing arts hall, gymnasium, amphitheater and many other amenities, in addition to a "first stop center" that will include space for social service organizations.

Construction so far has brought relatively few surprises, Dugan said.

"We did find a sewer line that was not shown on any of the city maps, so we had to work around it," he said.

One significant change in the design was the addition of a 25-person orchestra pit and related support facilities to the performing arts hall.

"In communicating with the arts groups, they believed that was essential to the long-term success of rental of the facility for performances," Dugan said.

In addition to site work and masonry walls, many of the houses acquired for the project have been renovated and are being used as offices and training facilities.

R.W. Allen, the contractor on the project, has about 60 workers at the site now. Once opened, the Kroc Center will employ an estimated 102.

The total investment, including a permanent operating endowment, will be almost $100 million.

The Ray & Joan Kroc estate is providing a total gift of $67.8 million.

Kroc components

- Total of 100,000 square feet on 17 acres

- Main Core Community Center, 75,000 square feet

- First Stop Center, 10,000 square feet

- First Stop Village (seven renovated houses)

- Eve Street Row (five renovated houses)

- Sibley Chapel

- Five-acre park on Augusta Canal

- Amphitheater