Despite COVID-19 and other issues that have caused a delay in some materials, Murrieta city staff said that they’re still aiming for the Town Square Park Amphitheater project to be completed by the end of 2020.
Improvements to the amphitheater include a new stage that has been constructed to host large performances; tiered seating for approximately 750 guests, plus over an acre of picnic area; improved special event lighting; Wi-Fi; three new permanent facilities, including public restrooms, a green room for performers and storage, and a new public address system.
“Currently, the stage is complete, and the new facilities (including the bathrooms) have been installed,” Brian Ambrose, community service department, said in an email. “Tiered seating continues to be poured this month. In the next few weeks, the public will be able to see the exterior improvements: stone work, painting, paver installations and other details that will really begin to show what the finished project will look like.”
Once the work is complete, the city will also renovate the turf outside the seating area.
Funding for the project comes from multiple sources, according to Ambrose.
“Former redevelopment proceeds, park development impact fees and funding provided through renegotiating a new franchise agreement with Waste Management,” Ambrose said. “Overall construction cost for the amphitheater is $5.2 million, plus an additional $1.49 million for three peripheral buildings. At this point, we are on track to complete the project on budget.”
There currently isn’t a specific timeline of when performers might begin holding performances due to COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has certainly impacted the public sector just as it has the private sector,” Ambrose said. “As the city understands the guidance, large-scale special events are prohibited.”
However, community service staff are anxious and excited to begin planning special events again, according to Ambrose.
“We’re ready to make the city’s 30th birthday celebration the most memorable,” Ambrose said. “But at this time, we do not have a date set to open the amphitheater. In the meantime, community services staff are currently drafting a policy regarding the amphitheater special event usage. We’ll also need to bring forward a fee schedule update. We expect to bring both the policy and fee schedule forward to the city council for approval in early-2021.”
To see renderings of the project, visit https://www.murrietaca.gov/646/Town-Square-Park-Improvements.
Lexington Howe can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.