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Going up: Amphitheater project taking shape

September 22, 2010 - Concerts in Civic Center Park should look a whole lot different next year.

The long-planned amphitheater is finally in the works, and while the first performers aren't likely to take the stage until next spring, township officials are excited to see the structure going up.

The amphitheatre begins to take shape as construction workers on site at Civic Center Park take advantage of good weather. Photo by Laura Colvin (click for larger version)
"We're very proud of it," said Building Director Tom Berger, who gave the township board of trustees a status update Monday. "By the first part of October we'll really be able to see what the structure will look like."

At a March 16, 2009 regular meeting, the Orion Township Board of Trustees approved a motion to assign Township Supervisor Matthew Gibb and Berger the role of project managers, with a budget not to exceed $150,000.

Berger said the job was more or less coming in on budget, noting he made a point of working with local contractors and suppliers—but noted some were less than willing to offer the township a reduction in costs.

"Nobody knows it," he added, "but the building is a little bigger than we planned."

According to Gibb, the amphitheater has a maximum capacity of about 3,000.

Gibb said the project was originally budgeted at $392,000, but, with changes to the plan, officials were able to slash costs to $150,000. About $62,000, he said, came from "donations and gifts," while the balance, earmarked for the project, will be drawn from the township's capital improvement fund.

The township is also working on plans for a walk-of-fame-type project, Gibb said. Once construction is complete, inscribed bricks or the like will be sold to pave the walkway. While plans are still in the works, Gibb said proceeds will go toward lighting, amplification and so on.

"We'll roll that out in the spring," he said.

Lake Orion Review Editor
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