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AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center

The Challenge

Located in a very densely populated urban area, Downtown Silver Spring is the largest Public-Private redevelopment partnership in Montgomery County. The 20-acre urban redevelopment involved adding new facilities and making improvements to existing facilities including renovation and preservation. The renovation and additional construction of the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center was one of many buildings and associated site work that were funded through the County CIP budget.

A multitude of known and unknown existing utilities running through the existing streets posed significant design challenges and management of uninterrupted utility service was a paramount concern. The lack of available space for stormwater management facilities posed a significant design challenge. Safety was also a concern as some streets had to remain entirely or partially open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic during construction.

The Soltesz Solution

The Downtown Silver Spring redevelopment efforts were segmented into four major phases of development. Soltesz broke each of the major phases into multiple sub-phases so that disruptions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, as well as utility service, were at a minimum. Soltesz coordinated extensively and worked diligently with the dry utility companies and consultants to locate and identify existing utilities and design new utilities as needed. Soltesz also designed temporary traffic control plans that allowed for sections of each sub-phase to be completed expeditiously. This solution limited sidewalk and street closures as well as provided temporary roadways and walkways during construction. The firm also provided a sequence of construction that allowed for utility work to take place in the evenings or the weekends to avoid interruptions.

Following significant restoration, the original Silver Theatre, built in 1938, was transformed to the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center and reopened in 2003.

Montgomery County Department of General Services & The Peterson Companies
Silver Spring, MD