The production schedule for the Polaris Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio was squeezed by two factors: controversy and weather. The controversy stemmed from local residents who complained that the 20,000-seat music theater would ruin their neighborhood with its noise and traffic. They went so far as to file a lawsuit to stop its construction. Construction finally began on November 3, 1993--a little over seven months before the scheduled opening date. The late start meant that concrete contractors and producers not only had to stay on schedule despite the snow and frigid temperatures, but mix specifications had to be adjusted for cold-weather concreting.
The first elements of the theater to be constructed were the caissons and columns that would support the roof of the pavilion. The caissons are 6 feet in diameter and extend 35 feet below grade. The 14 columns range in height from 44 to 56 feet. The columns used rebar cut to the length of the columns to eliminate splicing.
The precast work consisted of non-loadbearing 8-foot-wide panels that formed the stage area. The panels were cast in 600-foot lengths and then cut as needed. The pavilion's conical concrete slab floor was completed last, with the last slab finished just days before the June 15 opening.