Kroc Center construction keeps a steady pace

Project ahead of plan, 60 percent complete

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The gym floor concrete was poured just last week -- and a swimming pool built in Italy is almost ready to ship.

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Derek Dugan, the community relations coordinator for the $100 million project, says work is going well and the exterior should be complete by year's end.   Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Derek Dugan, the community relations coordinator for the $100 million project, says work is going well and the exterior should be complete by year's end.

"It's coming together really fast," said Derek Dugan, the community relations coordinator for Augusta's $100 million Salvation Army Kroc Center.

Seven months after a much heralded groundbreaking, the 17-acre project off Broad Street is 60 percent complete and slightly ahead of schedule.

"It was let as a 480-day contract, and we've had just two rain days so far," Dugan said.

"All the exterior work should be done by the end of the year, and then we just have to focus on the interior," Dugan said.

With a projected opening in June or July, workers are adding walls and roofs in sections, with recreational amenities on one side and education facilities on the other.

"A week ago, a lot of this was still dirt," Dugan said, gesturing at a newly roofed area that will house administrative offices.

Once completed, the 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" in a separate building nearby that will include space for social service organizations.

The unique swimming pool, with varied depths, a water slide that goes through the building's exterior walls and a "lazy river," is being fabricated by a specialty firm in Italy, which will ship it to Augusta for assembly and installation in December. Other amenities taking shape include a 25-person orchestra pit, birthday party rooms, entry foyers and ticket counters, locker rooms and family "cabana" dressing rooms.

Outside, work will commence early next year on the landscaping and other activities associated with a 5-acre green-space park that will offer views of the Augusta Canal. Houses moved from the Kroc Center site to a location nearby will also be renovated for uses that include a security office and a sandwich shop.

R.W. Allen, the contractor on the project, has about 85 workers at the site. Once opened, the Kroc Center will employ an estimated 102 people.

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

Kroc Center components

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

- Total of 100,000 square feet on 17 acres

- 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

- 5-acre park on Augusta Canal

- Amphitheater

Comments (17) Add comment
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Areukiddingme
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Areukiddingme 11/09/10 - 08:24 am
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What is this going to be used

What is this going to be used for?

Augustaboy
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Augustaboy 11/09/10 - 09:08 am
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Are YOU kidding me...Where

Are YOU kidding me...Where have you been the past five years? Ignorance is bliss. Nice job on this fast construction on the Kroc!

Ashleyn1
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Ashleyn1 11/09/10 - 09:46 am
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I have not lived here long

I have not lived here long but would like to know what is going to be also...Augustaboy, why do we have to be ignorant to not know? That's a assumtion on your part.

bettyboop
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bettyboop 11/09/10 - 10:14 am
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"In 1998, Mrs. Joan Kroc,

"In 1998, Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, donated $90 million to The Salvation Army to build a comprehensive community center in San Diego, California. Her wish was to create a center, supported in part by the community, where children and families would be exposed to different people, activities and arts that would otherwise be beyond their reach."..........in essence ashlyn when folks go to sign up for assisistance or when they need to find out where their welfare checks are and such.... they will also be able to swim in an Italian pool and have a birthday party at the same time.........yep.

fdn315
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fdn315 11/09/10 - 10:17 am
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I pass by it frequently and

I pass by it frequently and I've been amazed at how much has been done so fast. The section of road it's on needs to be repaved badly I really enjoy the growth though. Keep up the good work Augusta

jbenny2010
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jbenny2010 11/09/10 - 11:10 am
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Anything short of a tractor

Anything short of a tractor pull and some bluegrass makes some of you paranoid. The Kroc Center is a wonderful accomplishment for Augusta, and will certainly make a difference in the community. Check out
Kroc Center of Augusta

Thethirdjq
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Thethirdjq 11/09/10 - 11:08 am
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They are doing a fantastic

They are doing a fantastic job with the resources they had and the schedule they are on. AC should also give some credit to the local architects, Cheatham Fletcher Scott, that are out there just about every day to make sure everything is approved and correct while troubleshooting every problem that arises. Maybe one day AC will recognize what local architects have done for this town.

SlapShot2
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SlapShot2 11/09/10 - 11:18 am
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I am very impressed with this

I am very impressed with this project and I hope Augusta gets more of these types of projects in the furture. Its all about the quality of life here that will make this city grow.

Augustaboy
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Augustaboy 11/09/10 - 01:20 pm
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Nothing about the Kroc Center

Nothing about the Kroc Center was funded via tax dollars, where is everyones praise for that? Where are all the Baseball Park bashers on this one? Doing something good never gets credit. Here is a schedule I found using Google (Yes its 2010), on San Diegos Kroc Center events. Looks like they enjoy the use of their Kroc! Go Augusta!

http://kroccenter.org/special-events/

bdouglas
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bdouglas 11/09/10 - 02:47 pm
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Augustaboy: "Nothing about

Augustaboy: "Nothing about the Kroc Center was funded via tax dollars..."

Which is also why the project is on time, on budget and going up so quickly... Also, if the theater looks anything like the one shown on the San Diego Kroc site it'll be a serious benefit to the community, as long as it's safe to park there.

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 11/09/10 - 04:17 pm
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With all my heart I hope this

With all my heart I hope this center is as good as it is being billed to be!

bettyboop
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bettyboop 11/09/10 - 05:29 pm
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""it'll be a serious benefit

""it'll be a serious benefit to the community, as long as it's safe to park there.""...exactly bdouglas if crime continues the way it's going the Kroc Center will be another riverwalk in just a few years........

countyman
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countyman 11/09/10 - 05:50 pm
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A $100 million dollar

A $100 million dollar investment into the city of Augusta. Amazing! I hope it becomes a tourist magnet similar to the Riverwalk. I love walking on the Riverwalk, the sunday night Candlelight Jazz Series, and the saturday market in the 8th street plaza.

bettyboop
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bettyboop 11/10/10 - 12:11 am
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LOL...Countyman your a hoot!

LOL...Countyman your a hoot! Do you carry a gun on your walks? Do you carry a bag to pick up the trash?..Do you use a flashlight because the lights are out.......and you might trip on the crumbling bricks and fall on a used needle and contract a very bad disease?(while listening to jazz in the background)?

Ashleyn1
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Ashleyn1 11/10/10 - 03:45 pm
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Thanks Bettyboop...just

Thanks Bettyboop...just wonderred what it was and why I was ignorant for not knowing! ha!

derekdugan
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derekdugan 11/10/10 - 09:38 pm
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The quote from Betty Boop is

The quote from Betty Boop is correct, but the analysis is wrong. Joan Kroc's plan was to build and endow an Arts, Education and Recreation Community Center in a lower income neighborhood that met specific demographic conditions, surrounded by higher income areas, that can be impacted by its creation. The permanent operating endowment and the estate requires and enables the facility to provide the best programming and facilities in the city in perpetuity. The goal is to both attract all segments of the community, while also encouraging economic development in that immediate neighborhood. There will be financial assistance to allow access for lower income people to attend, but in order to receive the assistance, an educational curriculum must be followed which makes it an "earned" scholarship. Finally, we aren't nieve, there will be a full time, on site security presence to make the Salvation Army Kroc Center a safe place for all. Stay tuned and please feel free to email me questions at any time (derek_dugan@uss.salvationarmy.org). Come the first of the year, we will be working to educate everyone on what will be a new destination point for Augusta. (and yes, 100% privately funded!)

derekdugan
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derekdugan 11/10/10 - 09:44 pm
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Oh yeah - Cheatham Fletcher

Oh yeah - Cheatham Fletcher Scott and RW Allen have been incredible to work with. It's also worth noting that approximately 80% of the contractors and supplies have been local companies. It was our commitment, where possible, to keep business local and we're proud to do that.

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