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(July 1, 2016) ATLANTA, GA – The City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation has awarded the design-build of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center to Winter Johnson FS360, a joint venture among the Winter Johnson Group and FS360. Joining forces with KAI Design & Build and Perkins + Will, Winter Johnson FS360 will build the new recreation center on Hilliard Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta. This iconic building and new unifying pillar of the community will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family. The City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation is holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility on July 7, 2016, at 11 am at the 100 block of Hilliard Street.
Critical to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of in-town Atlanta residents, the new recreation hub will fill the void that the closing of the original MLK, Jr. Natatorium created when it was shuttered in 2012. A focal point situated between the Martin Luther King, Jr. MARTA station and the Edgewood Avenue corridor, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center will offer the area and surrounding neighborhoods with best-in-class recreation and swimming facilities. The building’s designers, Michael Kennedy of KAI Design & Build and Philip Freelon of Perkins + Will, bring a wealth of experience in designing historically relevant and culturally rich structures, including Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower and the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, respectively. The culturally significant building will be a steel structure with glass curtain walls and metal paneling, featuring bright color accents. Winter Johnson FS360 will also build the adjacent parking area.
As a new, welcoming beacon for the community, the iconic Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center unites Atlanta’s past and future, providing a place for all. The bold marquee marks the location as a hub of activity, and welcomes visitors from the nearby MARTA stop and surrounding neighborhoods. The two-story promenade full of light joins the two entries, emblematic of the significance of this building to the past, present, and future. The impact the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center will have on the community is integral to us collectively commemorating our past and celebrating our shared future as we come together to congregate, interact, learn, and play.
“The design of the facility celebrates the activities of water and play, an experience that people of all ages and cultures treasure, although historically there has been an issue of access to these kinds of services for lower income populations,” states Michael B. Kennedy, President, KAI Design & Build. “Helping to bridge this divide, the center not only represents the good work that Dr. King began, but also signifies the importance of Atlanta’s growth and evolving landscape.”
The forthcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center is one of many recreation centers and pools built by the members of Winter Johnson FS360. “With a host of gymnasiums, recreational and community facilities, and aquatic centers in our portfolio, Winter is thrilled to create this much-needed center and continue to serve the Atlanta community,” says CEO of Winter Construction and Managing Partner of Winter Johnson Group, Brent Reid.
According to Artis Johnson, Managing Partner of Winter Johnson Group, “We are honored to partner with minority-owned FS360 and KAI to commemorate Dr. King’s contribution to society with this important center near his birth home neighborhood.” Says Ernest Ellis, President of FS360, “Collaborating with these highly respected designers, general contractors, and the City of Atlanta is just as exciting as seeing the vision of this center turn into reality.”
“On behalf of the City of Atlanta, I am excited to work with Winter Johnson FS360 and outstanding architects Michael Kennedy of KAI Design & Build and Philip Freelon of Perkins + Will to bring the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center to life,” said Amy Phuong, Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “Atlanta is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and every building, street, and monument bearing his name should represent his legacy and stand as a source of pride and excellence for our city. We are committed to ensuring that this new center reflects the most admired elements from the former facility while offering a best-in-class amenity that residents of all ages and abilities can enjoy, for years to come.”
About Winter: Winter is a privately owned and operated Atlanta based general contracting company. We provide construction management services to clients in the hospitality, retail, government, higher education, K-12, corporate/office, religious, senior living, and multi-family markets in the Southeast. For more information visit: www. winter-construction.com.