“The Boone County Commission foresees a great benefit in future cultural and arts activities for the citizens of Boone County and the many visitors who utilize the Water Ways Park facilities,” commissioners said in a resolution passed during the commission’s regular session on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. “The Boone County Commission has developed a ‘master plan’ for the project, and is committed to moving forward to develop an amphitheater at Water Ways Park at Julian on property the Boone County Commission owns.”
The county committed $25,000 in its 2013-2014 fiscal year budget, as well as the use of “force account” labor from the commission’s Maintenance Department to assist in the construction.
Larry V. Lodato, Director of the Boone County Community & Economic Development Corp., spoke with the commission about the project and identified several potential funding sources for the estimated $369,232.60 project.
“There is possible funding available from the West Virginia Culture & History Cultural Facilities and Capital Resources, The First and Ten Foundation, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, the Boone County Community Foundation, the West Virginia Development Office’s Community Partnership Program, Alpha Natural Resources, the National Parks Service’s Land & Water Conservation Fund, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Boone County Community & Economic Development Corporation,” he said.
Lodato said the amphitheater would be constructed near the front of the park, just south of the pool complex and parking.
“It is expected that the stage will be a covered, prefabricated wood structure with dressing rooms,” he explained. “The stage will be elevated to allow high water to flow beneath the structure to prevent flood damage.”
Lodato said amphitheater seating would be a series of stepped terraces, constructed of concrete.
“Seating would be provided for approximately 400 people,” he said. “It would consist of fixed plastic chairs with arm rests and self-rising seats. Accessible ramps and seating areas will also be provided, along with a grass seating area and a general seating area that will allow for the future seating expansion.”
The seating and stage would be sited to minimize the amount of trees to be removed for the project, Lodato added.
“Parking would be constructed at the amphitheater site,” he said. “If additional parking is needed, the existing parking at the pool complex would be utilized.”
No timelines of dates for construction or completion of the project have been set.
“We are at the very beginning stages of this project,” Lodato said. “We thank the Boone County Commission for its resolution to support this wonderful project.”