Going up

Civic arts center building ahead of schedule

The Civic Arts Center is about two weeks ahead of schedule and steel work that was supposed to start in late November will now begin earlier in the month.

In addition, Civic Arts Center supporters learned at the first Key Stakeholders Progress Briefing held Oct. 16 at Maryville College that fundraisers are working to secure the last $7 million to cover the cost of the $47.3 million project.

Mark Cate with Lawler-Wood and formerly of Maryville College said the briefings were an attempt to ensure stakeholders are getting accurate information regarding the project. Cate reiterated that the college is assuming 53 percent of the project; Maryville City is assuming 21 percent of the note, Alcoa 8 percent, the federal government 14 percent and the state 4 percent.

Barry Brooks, executive vice president of Lawler-Wood, talked about the dollars and sense of the project. “Currently the project is within budget,” he said.

Messer Construction is the building contractor and Blount Excavating did the grading, utilities and excavation.

Brooks said that the steel was supposed to be moved onto the site on Nov. 17, but now planners anticipate the steel arriving on Nov. 3.

Cate said that the steel was ordered well in advance and when it arrived early at the mill to be fabricated into beams for the civic arts center project, that work also was completed early.

“As we go into winter months, you’re dealing with weather. Anytime you can be ahead of schedule going into the winter, that gives you contingency on your schedule,” he said.

Andy Lorenz with Messer Construction talked about the construction and said his company’s projects have a common theme. “They aren’t easy,” he said of the projects. “I can’t tell you how important this job is to us. It’s key to our future.”

Mike Merida with Messer gave an update. “We are definitely on time. We are going to make the end date,” he said.

Merida said the basement foundation walls were completed, as was the deep foundation and the construction parking lot.

Jeff Johnson from McCarty Holsaple architects, told the audience that in regards to the exterior of the two buildings making up the civic arts center, they would be similar to nearby buildings. “Our goal is to use the same brick color and mortar match as Anderson Hall,” he said.

Those gathered also were told that 1 percent of the building budget would go toward commissioned art. “The steering committee felt it was important to have a few commissioned pieces,” Johnson said.

The stakeholders learned that $40 million of the $45.3 million had been raised or pledged and this represented 80 percent of the goal. Holly Jackson-Ludlow, interim vice president for advancement and community relations said, “This is an incredible place to be, but we still have work to be done,” she said.

Jackson-Ludlow said currently the leadership phase of the giving was being undertaken and that giving by the community would be encouraged early next year. “Our plan is January of next year to start a campaign to raise the remaining $3 million from the community,” she said.

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