There is still more money to raise but a Seattle Parks District grant will go a long way toward making the planned replacement of Volunteer Park‘s crumbling amphitheater a reality.
$900,000 in funding for the project was announced Thursday in a grant that will help the Volunteer Park Trust replace the park’s old masonry stage “with a modern structure that meets community needs for a versatile outdoor performance space” while enhancing “the historic Olmsted landscape” of the park and putting the facility in full ADA compliance.
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The district says the project will also improve the space as a performance venue with improved acoustics and noise control, plus better safety, and access while reducing maintenance costs.
In April, CHS reported on the effort to pare back the design for a new amphitheater to give the proposal a more attainable budget. Total construction costs for the project are now estimated at $2.7 million. According to the announcement, additional City of Seattle funding has been identified for improving the amphitheater restrooms.
The ORA Architects design could relocate the amphitheater as well as add a roof, handrails for accessibility and updated bathrooms. Unlike the fight over the $54 million expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum within the park which finally broke ground earlier this year, the community reception to the amphitheater redesign has been mostly positive.
The Volunteer Park Trust must still raise the rest of the money to cover the $2.7 million price tag. It is hoping one key element might help seal the deal for support from across Seattle — especially as winter rains approach. The new amphitheater will “be the only outdoor performance space in Seattle with a roof for protection during inclement weather,” the group says.
You can find out how to support the project and learn more at volunteerparktrust.org.