Founders’ Hall opens in Collegedale

Last week, EMJ joined the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation and others to celebrate completion of Founders’ Hall, an event venue for farmer’s markets, weddings, community events, and more.

Photo by Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation Inc.


Founders’ Hall served as phase II of EMJ’s ongoing work at The Commons, an eight-acre cultural and recreational space serving the Collegedale, Tenn., community.

Phase I, which opened in late 2017, included a clock tower, Redwood tree grove, and an open-air pavilion, and Phase III will include the addition of a sound stage for concerts. It is expected to be completed in 2019.

The Commons is the culmination of joint efforts by Collegedale leaders, the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation, and the public to bring this center to the community.

“We are honored to be a part of bringing this project to Collegedale,” said Matt Elliott, EMJ Project Manager. “The Foundation and community leaders have worked hard to make it possible, and we are glad to be a small part of giving this strong community something to enjoy for years to come. Thanks to all of our trade partners and colleagues for their hard work in getting us here.”

Congratulations to the EMJ team on this project:

Ryan Colbert, Project Engineer
Matt Elliott, Project Manager
Blake Johnson, Lead Superintendent
Joe Woolums, Senior Preconstruction Manager

Pictured (left to right): Matt Elliott, Project Manager; Alex Miller, Vice President of Preconstruction; Ryan Colbert, Project Engineer; and Blake Johnson, Lead Superintendent


For more information on the new space, visit

Related stories:

Chattanooga celebrates grand opening of The Commons

Collegedale Church expansion makes headway

EMJ Construction is making progress on the Collegedale Seventh-Day Adventist Church expansion in Collegedale, Tenn.

The original church was organized in 1917 using six temporary facilities before building the current structure in 1965. It is home to over 3,000 members and is the official campus church of Southern Adventist University.

church expansion

EMJ’s work entails the construction of an additional three-story building, totaling more than 55,000 square feet. The addition includes space for the church’s daycare program, classrooms, a café and a catering kitchen.

This week, EMJ and its trade partners began installing pre-bricked, precast concrete wall panels using a 180 ft. crane. The project is on track and scheduled to open in early 2019.

church expansion

EMJ team members include project manager Adam Ankers, assistant project manager Chad Marler, project engineer Katie Haberberger, superintendent Steve Jensen, senior administrative assistant Tina Brogdon, and project accountant Robin Phillips.

Keep up the great work, team!

Read more about EMJ’s experience with places of worship here.

Chattanooga celebrates grand opening of The Commons

chattanooga, commons, collegedale, open air pavilion
Photo: Erin O. Smith, Chattanooga Times Free Press


EMJ Chattanooga joined the community of Collegedale, Tenn., to celebrate the grand opening of Phase I of The Commons on Sunday, November 5.

The Grand Opening Festivities and Town Christmas Tree Lighting was sponsored by the City of Collegedale and the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation and featured live music, a Christmas tree lighting, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

chattanooga, commons, collegedale, open air pavilion, phase I
Photo: Chattanooga Times Free Press


The Commons, a three-phase project on an eight-acre site, will serve as a cultural and recreational center for the Collegedale community. Phase 1 contains four acres of infrastructure work, a clock tower, a 30,000-square-foot area planted with 32 Redwood trees, and a 2,000-square-foot open-air entry pavilion with restrooms. A Japanese cedar will be planted at the back of the shade pavilion to serve as a permanent Christmas tree.

Construction will begin on Phase II, an 11,000-square-foot covered pavilion, this month. While the entry pavilion will serve small gatherings, the second pavilion will be large enough to serve as an event venue for farmer’s markets, weddings and more.

chattanooga, commons, collegedale, open air pavilion, phase 1
Photo: Tim Barber, Chattanooga Times Free Press


Phase III, which is estimated to be completed at the end of 2019, will be the addition of a sound stage for concerts.

“EMJ Corporation has done a great job building The Commons for all of us to enjoy,” said David Barto, Executive Director of the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation. “A special thank you to Mr. Jay Jolley  [EMJ Chairman of the Board] for taking on this project and a big thank you for our team of project leads from Clint Dean to Matt Elliott and Joe Woolums to our ‘boots on the ground’ site superintendent, Matt Uebler. We have a good team.”

Congratulations to the EMJ team on this project:

Matt Uebler, Superintendent
Matt Elliott, Project Manager
Ryan Colbert, Project Engineer
Joe Woolums, Senior Preconstruction Manager
James Williams, Director of Construction
Clint Dean, Executive Vice President

Related stories:

Collegedale Commons Planned On 8 Acres Next To Current City Hall

City of Collegedale Looking to Create Their Own History


EMJ building in the scenic city, where it all began

Chattanooga riverfront | | John Neff
Chattanooga riverfront | | John Neff


EMJ Corporation, a Chattanooga-grown construction services company, has five offices in five states and a multitude of large projects nationwide and is poised to reach $1 billion in total revenue this year.

But, despite the company’s national presence, EMJ remains committed to its hometown. With more than 300 employees in Chattanooga, the company is currently working on key projects that are helping shape the future of the scenic city.

“It’s an exciting time for Chattanooga,” said Clint Dean, Executive Vice President of EMJ’s Chattanooga office. “The city is experiencing tremendous growth, and our team is proud to be a small part of it.”

728 Market Street

This year, EMJ will complete the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute on the campus of Baylor School and a FedEx Ground distribution center at I-75 and Volkswagen Drive.

Meanwhile, an EMJ banner adorns a crane high above the downtown site of River City Company’s 728 Market Street mixed-use development, which is scheduled for completion in 2017, and in July, EMJ began work on Chattanooga Whiskey’s new 46,000-square-foot distillery, which will make the local start-up one of the largest craft bourbon whiskey producers in Tennessee.

EMJ has ongoing work at Volkswagen Industrial Park and is building The Commons, a cultural and recreational center for the City of Collegedale, just 20 minutes from Chattanooga.

The EMJ Construction Special Projects team recently partnered with the Woodberry Group on the renovation of the popular Knitting Mill antiques mall in Chattanooga’s North Shore and maintains a client list of several well-known Chattanooga start-ups, including the Lamp Post Group, Bellhops and CodeScience.

“My father, Edgar M. Jolley, would be so proud of the company’s growth and of the people that got us here,” said Jay Jolley, CEO of EMJ Corporation. “When he founded the company in 1968 as a general contractor focused primarily on the retail sector, I’m not sure anyone could imagine where we would be today.”

EMJ Corporation has not only grown by offices and construction sectors; it has also expanded its efforts and branched into specialty organizations, creating a family of companies that serve clients nationwide.

Ranked #82 among the 2016 Top 400 Contractors in the U.S. by Engineering News-Record, EMJ remains proud of it’s Chattanooga roots and is committed to the growth and development of the place where it all began.


FedEx Ground Chattanooga


More on EMJ’s current Chattanooga projects:

728 Market Street, a ten-story mixed-use building with 125 apartments, offices and retail shops in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, is expected to open in 2017.

Chattanooga Whiskey Co. distillery, a 46,000 square-foot facility on M.L. King Blvd., will have room to house over 4,000 aging barrels of bourbon whiskey and include over 10,000 square feet of production space, over 2,000 square feet of office space, and over 4,000 square feet of future event space.

FedEx Ground, a 235,000 square-foot distribution center for the international logistics company off of Interstate 75, is projected to open in August 2017.

Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, a 14,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art research facility on the banks of the Tennessee River, is the first freshwater science center in the Southeast and is expected to be completed this fall.

Collegedale Commons­, an open-air project which broke ground in March, will include a farmers market, community center, stage, and a 15,000-square-foot event hall, will serve as a central hub for Collegedale, which is about 20 miles outside of Chattanooga.

Accent Construction Services, the special projects division of EMJ, will oversee the renovation of the 100-year-old Knitting Mill antiques mall. The 60,000-square-foot, two-and-a-half-story structure will become Signal Mill, a mixed-use space for retail, restaurant and offices.