Dr. Phillips Center installs 142-ton steel roof piece for new performance hall

Steinmetz Hall set to open in 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is continuing construction on its second phase with the installation of a large roof piece atop of Steinmetz Hall.

Saturday marked a big turning point for the project. Construction crews used two cranes to lift a 142-ton structural steel roof section into place on top of the new Steinmetz Hall.

Lorri Shaban, the spokesperson for DPAC, said it is the largest piece of the roof extension. 

"It really acts as the spine for the entire roof," Shaban said. 

This is not a simple undertaking. Construction crews shut down part of South Street on Friday to get the cranes in place. Shaban said it will take an entire day to get the roof piece up and stabilized.

She adds construction workers will build the piece 13 stories in the air. The roof installation was set to happen after 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Bystanders came out to watch the construction and take pictures.

Roz Mullen says she is used to hearing the sounds of construction. She tutors students at a church near DPAC every weekend. For the last two years she has watched crews build the second phase of the facility from the ground up. 

"We have just been watching it go up beam by beam," Mullen said. 

Many, like David Lee, were amazed at how it is all coming together.

"Seeing them build the trusses on the ground for quite a while, it will be exciting to see them in place," Lee said.

DPAC said the new Steinmetz Hall is a 1,700-seat acoustic theater. Shaban said it is still on schedule to open in 2020.

She adds the new phase continues the center's mission to support the arts across Central Florida. 

"We're just grateful to be part of that and helping that move forward and progressing," she said. 

Mullen said she can't wait to see the finished product and she is already looking forward to future performances in the new space. 

"It's going to be a showpiece for Orlando," Mullen said. 

DPAC officials said one lane along South Street near the performing arts center will stay closed during the construction.

They hope to reopen the road by 5 p.m. Sunday.