By Rebecca Gaunt
The yearslong Depot Park project is nearing the finale with Monday’s approval of the construction contract with Gay Engineering for the downtown amphitheater.
Kennesaw City Council unanimously authorized the contract with Gay to be the construction manager at risk for an amount not to exceed $6,893,860. This includes site work and the construction of the stage and restroom facility.
The Carrie House, built in 1890, will also be brought up to code so it can be used as a green room for performers.
The amphitheater is the 8th and final phase of the SPLOST-funded project for the 12.5-acre park that began in 2015. Croy Engineering provided the architectural and engineering drawings for the venue which will accommodate about 1,500 people.
“This is a big deal for this community. This is something we’ve been working on for a long time and it’s gonna change the ability of our parks and rec program to activate that space,” said City Manager Jeff Drobney.
According to Drobney, the city expects to break ground the third week of January. Details are forthcoming on the public event to recognize the milestone.
Depending on weather and supplies, the project is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete.
The space will be used for concerts, theater productions and other community events, such as the annual Christmas tree and menorah lightings.
The project is central to Kennesaw’s plan to create a walkable city with greenspace. Depot Park is located in the historic downtown area near the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History, and adjacent to Gateway Park.
“I just want to recognize that a lot of people put a lot of time, thought, trouble, and effort into this to get us to this point, and I just want them to know that I appreciate them. The community appreciates them,” said Councilman Pat Ferris.
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.