The Music City Center is 117 days away from the expected construction completion date.
The convention center project has been underway since 2010. Larry Atema, Senior Project and Development Manager with the Convention Center Authority, has seen the project from the ground up.
“We're about 97% complete on the building right now,” he said. “That last three or four percent historically is the toughest.”
Several rooms are painted, carped and sealed for final inspection. However, several major areas remain under heavy construction.
“You have the grand lobby,” said Atema. “[Work was delayed] because that's where the NES substation used to sit.”
The grand lobby is one space recognizable from the exterior, with a wall of glass windows facing Demonbreun Street. The lobby will serve as a ceremonial entrance and will house the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
“The grand ballroom [is also under construction] because it's just a very large complex room,” Atema said.
The ballroom is designed like the inside of an acoustic guitar with 57,500 square feet. When finished, it may be divided into ten different configurations for multiple uses.
Other areas are closer to completion.
A master kitchen is fully equipped and almost ready to serve up to 20,000 meals a day.
The exhibit hall is also nearly ready, with eight acres of space and easy access for vendors from 32 loading docks.
Finishing touches on the exterior and landscaping surrounding the 16 acre lot is underway, too.
After two years, the project is down to just 600 workers and a little more than 100 days.
“Those of us that are project managers, it's what you work for,” Atema said. “[But] the real credit goes to the 7,000 people that have worked on this project and the project managers that direct that everyday, all day.”
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of April.
Furniture, fixtures and equipment will be put in place in May, as well as staffing.
The first expos and conventions are scheduled for early June.
For more information, visit the Music City Center's Web site.