Rivercenter opening delayed - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rivercenter opening delayed

April 13, 2004

Albany-- The Riverquarium was supposed to have opened in July, but now it won't open until Labor Day weekend. But the executive director insists the delay is not because of any fire code violations.

The Flint Riverquarium structure is pretty much complete. It the inside and the details that construction crews are really focusing on now. But if you look across the street at the Adventure Center, you can see a lot of work still needs to be done.

Construction on the Flint Riverquarium is full speed ahead, and there would have been little problem having it completed by original mid-July date. "When we open this facility we want to make a good first impression on visitors, and that means by having the Adventure Center open and available," said Executive Director Doug Noble.

Noble says the pushing back the opening of both buildings has nothing to do with code violations. "If anybody has a misconception that fire codes or failing to meet fire codes is an issue in the decision to wait until Labor Day weekend to open, that's absolutely, positively wrong, because it's not."

Spokesmen from the State Fire Marshals Office say that inspectors last checked the construction project on April 6th, and found no major violations, but only discussed some additional safety measures. Nothing out of the ordinary for the building of a facility of that magnitude and complexity.

So, what has plagued the construction of the 15,000 square foot Adventure Center? The increasing cost and lack of availability of steel. "There are little issues like that have entered into a loss of a week here a loss of a week there." But Noble assures that come Labor Day weekend, Albanians will definitely have something to brag about.

Along with the IWERKS theatre the Adventure Center will hold an exhibition hall capable of supporting live animals and a wet-lab for teachers and classrooms. The Riverquarium project costs more than $28 million.

posted at 5:30PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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