Peachtree City ramps up ‘The Fred’ renovations

A little bit of spring cleaning is coming to the Peachtree City Amphitheater. Well actually, it’s more of a makeover according to city manager Jon Rorie.

“We are proposing and moving forward with amphitheater renovations as it relates to all of our city facilities,” Rorie said.

The amphitheater, commonly known as “The Fred,” is set to restore several amenities to commercial order. The plan is to give the amphitheater, built in 1976, more of a contemporary feel. The outlined improvements include adding wood siding, replacing the roof, and replacing the interior of the restrooms.

Peachtree City will serve as the general contractor for the project. They will also use local vendors to service the amphitheater renovations. The estimated total cost of the renovations is around $226,470. There is also roughly $20,000 built into the estimation for use on anything additional that needs to be done.

Rorie said the city plans to pay the costs out of the 2014 Facilities Authority Bond contingency. The amphitheater improvements contingency currently sit around $200,000. Rorie said the city will simply move the funds from the contingency to the project.

“That 200,000 was a part of the contingency and we simply loaded it in with the renovation project,” Rorie said. “This is due to the cost savings we have gained through other projects.”

The project will be completed in three phases. The first phase started on March 1 and addressed the roofing situation. The city also began painting the building as well. The next phase is slated to begin on April 6 to fix the concrete and scrims. The last phase begins on April 13 to address the bathrooms and flooring.

The phases coordinate with the event schedule at The Fred. Rorie noted that the work will ramp up in late April during an inactive period for the amphitheater.

“We are going to phase these projects and the biggest parts are going to occur between April 13 and May 19,” Rorie said. “This way, we can have a five-week window and fit the timeline associated with the show schedule.”

Rorie stated that the front of the amphitheater will also undergo construction. The plan is to open the exterior to make it more accessible for citizens. Rorie believes the renovations are long overdue given the amphitheater’s value to the city.

“You have an asset, and I believe it is a valuable amenity to the community,” Rorie said. “Personally, I enjoy going to it, and I know a lot of people do, but, through the years, we have limped along on some of this stuff.”

The renovations represent the amphitheater’s biggest improvements since a fire damaged the venue in 1989. After it was rebuilt in 1991, The Fred has only seen incremental changes.

The last renovations happened in 2011, when the city spent $41,000 on sprinkler system repairs and $17,000 on the box office drainage system. Rorie knew the city couldn’t keep putting off the inevitable.

“It is high time that we do it as we have spent enough time putting band-aids on things that need stitches,” Rorie said. “It is time for us to move forward.”



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