At its meeting Tuesday night at City Hall, the Sandy Springs City Council voted 6-0 to give project stewards the go-ahead to transition into the next phase of programming.
“This is the culmination of several years’ worth of focus within this city and months and months of sustained effort, and, actually, lots of phone calls as recent as this [past] weekend … talking about the best way to move forward to make sure that we’ve got a project that makes sense and everybody’s comfortable with and satisfies the needs of our community,” said District 1 Councilman John Paulson. “[The city center], in my opinion, will enhance the quality of life here … and I can’t wait to get going.”
The council, by way of resolution, authorized City Manager John McDonough and staffers to officially take certain actions in connection with the implementation of the master plan and the development of the city center, which could cost as much as $196 million to build.
That includes adopting a site plan as well as addressing the project’s hot-button issue, the proposed performing arts center. Instead of definitively stating the venue will be a 1,000-seater, the agreed-upon wording of the resolution simply declares that to be the maximum capacity for the space.
“We’re going to go into a little more homework on the [performing arts center seating] item,” McDonough said.
The city manager later referenced community feedback on the matter, revealing a breakdown of residents’ opinions expressed via email: 181 messages supported the city center’s preliminary plans; 38 strongly opposed them.