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Work updating Centennial Olympic may crimp some fun at park

The next time you go to Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, plan to visit the destination’s website at gwcca.org/park before you go to make sure your favorite part of the greenspace is open to visitation.

Centennial is getting a multi-million dollar makeover in the next two years and some of its most popular features, such as the Fountain of Rings and various playgrounds, may be temporarily closed as they get updated, according to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which oversees operation of the state-owned destination.

The authority also is suspending booking new events for the park for the next 18 months to complete the upgrades by January 2019. Park events on the books prior to the new construction timeline -- including the 2018 Sweetwater 420 Festival and festivities surrounding the 2018 College Football Playoff -- will take place as scheduled.  

“As outlined in the Authority’s 2020 Vision strategic plan, the scope of the renovations include creating a pedestrian plaza on Andrew Young International Boulevard, establishing new gateways into the park to the north, strengthening the park’s Olympic heritage with new features, and revamping the Southern Company Amphitheater,” the authority said in a release.

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Terraced seating along Park Avenue West, and the extension of the existing water features, will create a new entry point to the park.

Centennial Olympic is often considered the starting point for Atlanta tourism because of its central location to the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and CNN Center.

In early March, the authority released new renderings and details of the update, which include bringing a water feature to the intersection with Baker Street and Centennial Olympic Boulevard, as well as more seating for the amphitheater, which is home to the parks’ popular spring jazz series.

The Southern Company Amphitheater, which hosts the park's popular jazz series, will get an update as part of the destination's rebirth.

 A new torch sculpture also is planned to celebrate the park’s Olympic heritage. Other features include an Olympics sports gallery;  a "game court, " where visitors can play large-scale games; and Olympic rings at the entrance to the park. 

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