News Column

Architect: Stage will be versatile

June 17, 2014

By Keith Lawrence, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.



June 17--The covered stage proposed for Yellow Creek Park could double as a large picnic shelter and be available for weddings, an architect told those gathered at a public hearing Monday night in the Daviess County Courthouse.

It's being designed to accommodate everything from the ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival to concerts by the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said.

There's even a possibility of outdoor plays, some suggested, but a decision on whether the county can afford the stage probably won't come until 2015.

Architect John Clark of Clarksville, Tennessee, said it will take 90 to 120 days for him to meet with user groups and complete the final design.

That takes the project to mid-September or mid-October before the county can begin advertising for bids.

Clark said the stage will be made of stone, steel and concrete. No wood will be used because it rots in moist climates, but the steel and concrete will be stained to look like wood, he said.

Clark said the stage will be five to six feet above the ground, 25 to 30 feet from floor to rafters, 70 feet wide and 50 feet deep. The roof will be metal.

Gabrielle Gray, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, which sponsors ROMP, said the stage that the festival now rents is 30 by 40 feet.

Mattingly said the new stage will be large enough for a variety of events.

"It's a whole lot easier to build it larger now than to wish we had later," he said.

Dressing rooms could be added later, Mattingly said. The stage will have both stairs and wheelchair ramps.

"You want bands to have a good experience and want to come back." Clark said.

Mattingly said county crews will prepare the site.

But he said the county will take bids from local contractors to build the structure.

"We don't know that it's going to happen," he said. "We're going to have to see how much it will cost."

The county parks department will take the architect's rendering to ROMP next week to seek comments from fans.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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Source: Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY)