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Parks official: Stephens Lake amphitheater to be completed on time

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The site for the new amphitheater at Stephens Lake Park is pretty muddy, but plans for construction are moving along on schedule.

The Parks and Recreation Department sent details about the project to the City Council in a report, which parks department employee Mike Griggs said Mondayincludes the most up-to-date information.

The plans for the amphitheater include an elevated concrete stage and a series of buried conduits, which can be used for future sound and lighting installations, according to the report submitted to the City Council.

The facility is also to offer greater sidewalk accessibility, which may include safety lighting. Griggs said the parks department is looking at lighting options but that he doesn't anticipate a lot of after-dark shows. Griggs said the amphitheater, at the moment, is being envisioned as a summer, daylight stage but that it may be necessary to look at lighting options in the future.

While the parks department worked with its own landscape architect for most of the design, it does not have a staff engineer, whose assistance is needed when applying for permits from the city, Griggs said. The department employed Columbia engineer Fred Malicoat to approve the electrical drawings.

Griggs said there is a big demand for the new amphitheater.

"Right now, we have so many people who want to have concerts in the park, and we don't really have a venue for that," Griggs said.

He said the amphitheater is being designed for future expansion to account for its expected popularity. The structure could become a new venue for theater groups, which might move to the amphitheater once it is completed, he said.

Griggs said he doesn't foresee many changes being made to the original plan during the project's construction. He said he expects only minor changes to occur.

The amphitheater was one of the projects selected in the first phase of the Stephens Lake Park Development, Griggs said. The city is providing $45,250 for the project. A part of that will be supported by a $20,250 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant the city received in 2008. Griggs said the budget is still adequate for the project.


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Comments

Charles Dudley Jr June 17, 2009 | 5:07 a.m.

Mike Griggs just remember to make it 100% ADA accessible or you will hear an earful from the Columbia City Disability Commission.

(Report Comment)
Tammy Miller June 17, 2009 | 9:00 a.m.

All parks have been and will be planned and constructed to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act. In many cases, the department not only meets, but exceeds the requirements, especially in high use parks such as Stephens Lake Park. These ADA requirements change over time and when they do, the department plans for renovations or adjustments as financial resources become available, even on facilities that are "grandfathered" prior to the ADA revisions.

(Report Comment)

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