The city of Sandy Springs has decided to stop using the company it contracted with to promote events at the new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, also known as the Byers Theatre, and other City Springs venues.

Since even before City Springs opened in May, Sandy Springs had been working with Spectra, a division of Philadelphia-based Comcast, to handle the operations, marketing and other services of City Springs’ venues. City Manager John McDonough reportedly made the announcement at the city council’s annual retreat Jan. 22 at City Springs, and it was confirmed in a joint statement from the city and Spectra that was emailed to the Neighbor by city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun.

“The city and Spectra have worked together for approximately two years to develop and manage the City Springs entertainment and meeting facilities,” the two organizations stated. “During this time, the city and Spectra have identified duplication of services provided, specifically in the areas of facilities management, marketing and accounting. After extensive discussions, it has been mutually decided that the city will assume full management of operations of the facilities, and Spectra will conclude its work on Feb. 3, 2019.

“As leadership transitions between Spectra and the city, the teams will work collaboratively to streamline and create efficiencies in the management of the facilities. There is also an opportunity for the city to formally incorporate some of the duplicated duties into current city departments. This will result in a change to the organizational structure for management of the facilities.”

In October, Michael Enoch, the center’s general manager, resigned, and the city is still in the process of finding his replacement. According to the statement, the city has hired an executive search firm to help with filling that role.

The statement also states the change from Spectra-paid staff to city-paid workers will help maximize Sandy Springs’ resources.

“Of the 12 full-time (center) staff, nine will continue to work on behalf of the city through existing contracts related to the organizational structure,” the two organizations stated. “For example, maintenance of the various rooms, including A/V and room setup for events falls naturally under facilities, with that personnel now under the facilities department, a contract with AECOM.”

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