A new venue near Six Flags over Georgia plans to combine family, food, fun and fitness.
But it’s not a traditional entertainment company behind the new Riverside EpiCenter. It is Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, located just across Riverside Parkway in Austell. The Rev. Christopher L. Boyd, executive pastor at Word of Faith, said the 112,000 square foot building will be operated by a separate nonprofit.
It will also be open to anyone, Boyd said.
“It’s built for the community, not for the church specifically,” he said.
The facility, which broke ground in June 2012 and is expected to open by January 2014, will include a 600-seat auditorium for plays and other productions, a six-lane bowling alley, youth center with arcade and computer stations, recording and dance studios, café and food court with three food vendors. Boyd said the facility is looking at both local and national companies to fill the food space.
But the most used part of the building, which had a budget of $30.7 million, could end up being a fitness center. It is the only part of the EpiCenter that will require a membership to use and will be larger than an LA Fitness with rates comparable to a YMCA, Boyd said.
“If you look at the food, fun and the fitness, there’s nothing in the area that has all those features,” he said. “There are a lot of young people around looking for something to do.”
The fitness center will include a weight room, aerobics room, cardio room, elevated running track, rock climbing wall and NCAA-sized basketball court.
Boyd said the EpiCenter also takes pride in the environmental care the facility has taken. It is actually recycling concrete and other material from the demolished building that formerly stood on its site for use in the new building. The building was most recently a Garden Ridge store, and was built as a Sam’s Club and held Word of Faith’s sanctuary while its permanent building was under construction.
Other features include energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient toilets and native plant landscaping.
Also notable is the employment the EpiCenter will bring to south Cobb. Boyd said it could hire between 100 and 200 people.