Jekyll landmark to tumble
The Brunswick News
November 13, 2010
The Jekyll Island Convention Center's days are numbered.
Demolition of the oceanfront structure on Beachview Drive will begin Monday.
Demolition will initially begin in the north wing of the convention center, Hartley Auditorium, officials said.
The building will be disassembled in pieces - a process that is expected to take six to eight weeks.
The north wing of the convention center was chosen to go down first because it is in the footprint of the new facility to be built at the site, said Erica England, communications specialist with the Jekyll Island Authority.
Throughout the process, crews will sort out the concrete material so that it can be recycled for use as the base for the new convention center.
Drew Kelley, project manager for Brasfield & Gorrie, the company contracted to remove the structure, said he understands the center's connection to the community. That includes all the graduations held there over the years by Glynn Academy.
"The convention center is a beloved structure on Jekyll Island, and we are proud to be a part of the revitalization efforts," Kelley said.
Construction on a new environmentally friendly convention center will start after the current site is cleared of debris and the foundation has been laid. That's anticipated to happen within the year, officials said.
A new 128,000-square-foot center will be built in its place and is expected to be completed by mid-2012. It will open in conjunction with the debut of two new hotels, retail space and loft units.
The final event at the Jekyll Island Convention Center was the Wrecking Ball dance Aug. 28, which kicked off the 2010-2011 United Way campaign. After that night, the convention center closed its doors.
Meetings and conventions during construction of the new facility will be at the renovated Morgan Tennis Center in the Jekyll Island historic district. The meeting site will include the tennis center, two connecting halls totalling 28,000 square feet, and 10 tents, each 625 square feet.
The Morgan Center opened Nov. 1 and had its first event Nov. 2.