This article was published by the City of Fayetteville and originally ran in the City of Fayetteville’s City News July 2020 issue.
Fayetteville city officials and staff along with designers and builders celebrated the topping out of the new City Hall under construction Thursday morning, July 16. During the ceremony, attendees signed the final beam before it was hoisted into place atop the building. The new Fayetteville City Hall, which has been under construction since early 2020, is expected to open in the spring of 2021 along with the adjacent City Center Park.
Speaking at Thursday’s ceremony, Mayor Ed Johnson remarked that the hoisting of the beam represented an important moment in time for the City of Fayetteville. “For the City of Fayetteville, this is a significant milestone, because it shows we are progressive-minded, we have a vision for the City of Fayetteville, and it indicates that we hired the right team,” Johnson said. “It is a significant legacy for the current City Council and for the City staff. “Fayetteville has a great history, but we also have a great future,” Johnson continued.
City Manager Ray Gibson shared a story of visiting Greenville, South Carolina and marveling at the downtown revitalization that took place there. He said the waterfall project there made a significant impact on that city’s efforts. “I believe this City Hall and park space project is our waterfall project,” Gibson said. “It’s going to be a game changer for Downtown Fayetteville and for all of Fayetteville. I am excited about this new City Hall and park space project,” Gibson said. “I’m very thankful to everyone who has had a part in making this happen so far. Gibson thanked the mayor and council members for their leadership role in the new City Hall project. “We didn’t get here without a vision. I thank the mayor and council for not only developing the vision, but continuing to support the vision,” Gibson continued. “I also thank the staff for their hard work on this project and their commitment to the vision. When I say ‘staff’, I mean the entire City staff. They do a wonderful job for the City.”
The City Hall & City Center Park project is being designed by architectural firm Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, it is being built by New South Construction, and the project is being managed by Comprehensive Program Services. Gibson thanked each of these companies for their continued service to the City and its residents. See more photos on the website: www.Fayetteville-GA.gov/news.
The City of Fayetteville will be leasing the historic Fayette County High School Gym to a pair of hospitality industry entrepreneurs, who plan to refashion it into an events facility known as the ‘Roundtown Collaborations Center. Located just down the hill behind where the new Fayetteville City Hall is being built, the old gym in its mid-century heyday was a popular community gathering place. When the City purchased the 10- acre Fayette County Public Schools headquarters property, leaders committed early on that they would preserve and repurpose the old gym in a way that would give the community one more great reason to enjoy Fayetteville’s downtown district.
That’s a part of Krista Stepney’s and Micheal Thompson’s vision as well. In addition to basing their regional catering and hospitality enterprise in Downtown Fayetteville, they say the gym building will see new life as a center for special occasions and community events. Beyond that, they say their mission is to help “fuel the future of South Atlanta.” ‘Roundtown Collaborations Center is expected to open around the same time as the new Fayetteville City Hall and the adjacent City Center Park in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, Stepney and Thompson have leased a retail store space on the Courthouse Square next to Twisted Taco to serve as a “home base and meeting space.”
“It will be an incredible place for our team to showcase other downtown development projects, while still being close to our event center in the city park,” Thompson said. Stepney and Thompson say they will keep the original barrel roof structure, which is beautiful on the interior, as well as elements of the old gymnasium floor. “While the building will be newly renovated, we will capture the character of its original design,” he said. Krista Stepney can be reached at email@example.com, and Micheal Thompson can be reached at mt@ roundtown.org.