0119TOPAUDBryan Rhoden, project supervisor with Winter Construction, talks about the near-completion of the 236-space parking deck at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega.
DAHLONEGA --- The company building a 236-space parking deck at North Georgia College & State University held a "topping out" party Friday to mark the project coming to an end.
The company treated its 130 workers and others associated with the work to lunch and some giveaways and awards in the parking deck that sits off South Chestatee Street and next to the college.
David Potter, the college president, also thanked the workers during the event.
"It's been a delight to watch it grow and see the dedication and commitment that you all have made to keep the project on time," he said.
Bryan Rhoden, Winter Construction's project superintendent, said, "There are still other items that need to be done ... but the bulk of the work is done."
Winter plans to turn the deck over to NGCSU in July, he said. "The deck is for the college ... for (its students) to park in, but then on the weekends so that the city of Dahlonega can use it also for public parking," Rhoden said.
The deck is the first phase of a two-phase project on the same site. On top of the deck, Winter will build a two-story, 54,000-square-foot recreation center housing three basketball courts, a running track, a fitness area, two locker rooms, a bouldering and climbing wall.
The "Rec Deck" will sit between the Hoag Student Center on campus and the Smith House on South Chestatee Street. When the entire $26.5 million structure is finished, the highest point of the building will be topped off with a pine tree and American flag.
"It is a different design," Rhoden said of the building. "A lot of contractors told (NGCSU) that it couldn't be done. We ... told them you can go in and put a steel structure on top of a concrete structure."
The entire project was targeted for completion this year. Potter, joking with those attending Friday's party, said, "We are now in the largest meeting room available in Dahlonega."
However, the deck "does give you a sense of the scale of this operation and wow, it's really awesome."