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Amphitheater plan is moving forward

MONMOUTH -- The city of Monmouth will start in earnest the planning process for the Main Street Park amphitheater this year.

December 31, 2012

MONMOUTH -- The city of Monmouth will start in earnest the planning process for the Main Street Park amphitheater this year.

Officials will also select an architect within the next two weeks to design and engineer what such a facility might look like.

"We need somebody to help with creating the elements, the size of a stage or band shell, keeping the seating area as all grass or doing a stair-step arrangement," City Manager Scott McClure said.

The amphitheater will sit on the east side of Main Street Park, off the corner of Knox and Jackson streets.

An amphitheater or performance pavilion is part of the town's long-range parks master plan. The Monmouth Business Association has also lobbied for the amenity during the last two years.

Officials invited architectural firms this fall to offer proposals regarding what they could feasibly do to the site for $500,000 to $700,000. Four firms responded before the deadline in mid-December. They include: CIDA of Portland; Robert Gray Partners of Sherwood; DAO Architecture and KPFF Consulting Engineers of Portland; and Robertson Sherwood Architects of Eugene.

The aforementioned dollar amount to firms was simply a benchmark, McClure said, adding there is no estimated cost yet.

"It's kind of like asking, `How much does it cost to build a house?'" McClure said. "You don't know until you know what kind of house you want."

Funding for an amphitheater will come through the urban renewal district, park system development charges, grants or a combination of the three. McClure said it's not a "budgeted project."

"We're not breaking ground this year," McClure said.

The design process will last most of 2013. It could be two or three years before any work starts, he added.

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