Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Revitalization Plans Become Concrete at the Jekyll Island Convention Center Groundbreaking

/PRNewswire/ -- Governor Sonny Perdue, the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) Board of Directors, staff, legislative and business representatives and members of the community gathered just north of the former convention center December 7 to commemorate the beginning of construction on the new Jekyll Island convention center and beach village.

The new Jekyll Island convention center replaces the former center and will be the only oceanfront convention facility in the southeast. The new center is expected to achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification at a Silver level. The 128,000 sq. ft. facility will feature many "green" aspects including structural facets that serve to capture and reuse rainwater, alternative/renewable energy generation and use and the latest in energy-saving technology.

Construction on the ocean front convention center is expected to take approximately 18 months and is scheduled to be complete along with the two new hotels, loft condominiums and 40,000 sq. ft. of retail space that make up the commercial components of the new Jekyll Island Beach Village in 2012. Great Dunes Park and a public village green are integrated to create a new, vibrant beachside destination on Jekyll Island.

"The revitalization of Jekyll Island is a story of renewal – of restoring the island to its rightful place as a premier public beach resort available to all Georgians and visitors," stated Governor Perdue. "This project is already benefiting a reinvigorated coastal Georgia economy, and I look forward to seeing the finished product thanks to the hard work and dedication the Jekyll Island Authority Board of Directors and the Jekyll Island Authority staff have invested in this effort."

The facility will be integrated into its natural beachfront location in a manner that minimizes impact on the environment while creating a wonderful and unique guest experience. The interior design will celebrate the natural transect of the island from the dunescapes to the marsh vistas.

"We can not be more excited to embark on this monumental project for Jekyll Island," stated Chairman Bob Krueger. "My hope is for the new convention center to create a wealth of special memories just as the former has done for so many visitors and residents alike."

The day concluded with JIA Executive Director Jones Hooks inviting ceremony guests to make a permanent mark on slabs of wet cement to signify the permanence of revitalization. The cement tiles will be used in the new Beach Village area as a lasting tribute to those who have worked together to make the revitalization of Jekyll Island a reality.

"In this economy, it is truly remarkable that we are at this critical point of getting construction underway," stated Jones Hooks. "Timing has always been a critical element, and what we have been able to accomplish over the last twelve months is almost a miracle and would not be possible if not for the steadfast support of the Governor, the state legislature and our JIA Board."

Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC, the Georgia based general contractor for the convention center and related infrastructure will begin construction in January of 2011. Currently crews are sorting out material from the demolition debris to be recycled. Concrete is being ground to be used as the base for the new convention center and beach village streets. The beginning of construction on the convention center and accompanying retail area signifies the cornerstone of revitalization efforts for the Jekyll Island Authority.

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