This multi-purpose facility combines a 13,500-seat arena designed to accommodate a variety of sports and performance events with a 73,600-square-foot ballroom, constructed over an existing lake, on a 35-acre site. The project is directly adjacent to and connects with the existing Gwinnett County Civic Center Exhibition Hall and Performing Arts Center and includes additional parking.
Holder broke ground on the 396,000-square-foot project in June of 2001 after five months of preconstruction. Services provided included leadership, team coordination, extensive preconstruction, value analysis, cost estimating, planning support, construction commissioning, and closeout. Full operation of the existing facility was maintained throughout the project.
Holder exceeded the Gwinnett County's expectations for budget control by effectively managing funds and maximizing the program. The Value Analysis cost savings items not only brought value to the project but resulted in Holder returned savings of over $1.9 million to Gwinnett County. The quality and value the team brought to this project is easily displayed when you enter the Arena and Ballroom and experience a high-end atmosphere you once only found in downtown Atlanta. Preston Williams, General Manager of Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center attributes the project’s success to, first, “without a doubt,” the team. “The team [had] a good understanding of what Gwinnett County was trying to do and they bought into it. Second, the county dedicated the resources to be involved throughout, making decisions when necessary to keep the project moving. And a final factor was Holder who brought the procedures, experience with the Construction Management At-Risk process and the administrative process to make it all come together.”
A particularly challenging aspect of construction was understanding and executing the acoustical design in the ballroom space. The ballroom was designed to function as one large space, as eight smaller spaces, or at any increment in between. The drywall, ceilings (drywall and ACT), operable partitions, and fabric panels had to be installed in an arrangement that would allow the space to have the same acoustical properties regardless of the current room configuration. To prevent problems, Holder set up constructability reviews with the acoustical consultant, the Architect, and the pertinent subcontractors prior to beginning and during construction of the space. The result was a final product that met acoustical requirements as well as aethetics.
Both the Arena and the Ballroom included a complex audio-visual design, but it was obvious at the start that the arena would require additional attention. The largest component of the AV package was the scoreboard for the Arena. Connection of the scoreboard required Holder to work proactively to understand the complex wiring configuration that allowed it to be controlled from the press box or from the arena floor. Rather than let the subcontractors interpret the design on their own, Holder worked through the details with the AV consultant and the design team to better facilitate installation and prevent problems and rework.
Completing the project in April of 2003 per an accelerated schedule allowed Gwinnett County to open early. This provided the County with a financial boost from Arena Football and several professional music concerts prior to the original substantial completion date.
The Gwinnett Center was named First Place, Best New Construction Project as part of the 2004 Build Georgia Awards and received the Best in Atlanta Real Estate Award in the Best Overall Category.