Shells and sea glass used for Jekyll island convention centre
The newly constructed Jekyll Island Convention Centre is the not only a majoroceanfront convention facility on the east coast, it also promotes a Jekyll Island philosophy of being environmentally-friendly and in balance with the natural world.
Officially opening May 20, the new 128,000-square-foot centre features green technology throughout the space in an effort to leave the pristine coastal ecosystem unaffected by its construction.
This facility has been built using green design standards and is expected to achieve a silver-level LEED certification. Designers were extremely conscious of the fragile coastal eco-system in which they were working, making sure that details such as solar panels, low impact lighting throughout 90 percent of the building, a reflective roof and an 80,000-gallon cistern for storing rain water were all included in the blueprints.
"We designed and built this facility to the highest of standards," said Mike Chatham, lead architect with HHCP design firm. "The magnitude to detail put into the entire structure was above and beyond anything people have seen before. We strove for greatness and succeeded."
Reusing locally-sourced materials for the building was a key component of planning. Shells and sea glass from Georgia shores were ground into the smooth hallway flooring and exterior sidewalks. Reclaimed pine from South Georgia was also used to create the flooring in the Ben Porter Salon event room.
Premium, front row parking spots were designated specifically to electric automobiles, with the parking spaces complete with car chargers.
"We worked hard for several years to ensure we built the premier conference center in the nation," said Bob Krueger, chair of the Jekyll Island Authority. "Immaculate thought and care was put into all the details of creating this impressive structure. This venue is efficient, effective and utterly state-of-the-art. The diligence taken to plan out this facility is evident in every square foot. We are extremely proud of this end product."
Already, the Jekyll Island Convention Center is gaining attention on a state-wide and national scale. More than 200 conventions have already been booked for the center through 2016, which will generate more than $40 million in economic impact for the State of Georgia. Historic levels of meetings and conventions are projected to be achieved in 2013 and beyond.
The positive impact the center will have on tourism is already being seen in an uptick in revenues by hotels in the area, as businesses across the Southeast become more aware of all that Jekyll Island offers. This trend is expected to continue and even accelerate after the center opens this month.
Said Jones Hooks, executive director of the Jekyll Island Authority. "We’ve created a destination. The new Jekyll Island Convention Center a well-planned, environmentally-sound and highly impressive venue. It will be a shining star for the State of Georgia."
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