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Atlanta, GA–The Winter Johnson Group was awarded the construction management contract for the new Reptile and Amphibian Complex at Zoo Atlanta. Construction began in July on a new section of the Zoo previously used for behind-the-scene operations. The new and improved reptile house will feature the latest in reptile habitat design and construction.

Being a good neighbor is always part of Winter Johnson’s Group promise to its clients but for this special project, it is critically important that the sounds of progress do not disturb the animals. The site location of the new facility is contiguous to several animal exhibits such as bongo, giraffe, zebra, ostrich, and gorilla, each with their own specific tolerance level to subjected noise influence.

Winter Johnson Group is communicating the construction activities and schedule daily with Zoo Atlanta officials to assure a smooth construction process. “Everything is going well. The gorillas like to watch the activity and are noticeably curious about what’s happening. Zoo Atlanta staff does a great job of making sure the gorillas and all the animals are okay,” stated Dick Sweeley, Winter Johnson Group Site Superintendent.

Zoo Atlanta Senior Director of Facilities and Construction Timothy Fidler added,” During construction and renovation of animal habitats, Zoo Atlanta takes special consideration in the protection of the animals. The top priority is the welfare, safety and stress of the nearby species. This stress can come from unusual noise or impact they are not use to hearing or from ground vibration, which might agitate enough to cause the animals to harm themselves trying to flee from the disturbance. 

“The animal curators and keepers make a judgment call to allow access to indoor areas, where the animals feel protected and safe. In this event, all work must stop, until, after careful monitoring, the animals have calmed enough so a safe environment can be maintained.”

“Communication within the team is critically important to this safety and success during construction activity. The Winter Johnson Group has continued to do a good job in providing this communication to the Zoo Atlanta staff, so a watchful eye can monitor any possible stress from the Reptile project construction. This tolerance can change from day-to-day, which makes daily communication vital,” Fidler continued.

The reptiles and amphibians will remain on exhibit in their existing home until construction is complete in Spring of 2015.

Winter Johnson Group, a joint venture, is comprised of Winter Construction, a privately owned and operated Atlanta-based construction management and general contracting company and Johnson Construction Services, a minority-owned contracting company in Atlanta. Winter Johnson Group provides construction and environmental services to clients in the hospitality, retail, government, education, corporate/office, religious, healthcare, historic restoration, industrial and multifamily markets in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. For more information visit