“Amp” up the park

By: Katrina Penaflor
Managing Editor

The Main Street Park in Monmouth is getting an upgrade. In fact, students may have already noticed the recent developments underway for the building of Monmouth’s new outdoor amphitheater.

Plans for the park’s upgrade began “back in 2008, when the city updated its park masterplan,” said Mark Fancey, community development director for the city of Monmouth.

2013 marked the beginning of an open and public design process for the amphitheater.

Residents were polled, and their opinions were taken into consideration to help create a design that would best benefit downtown Monmouth.

When complete, Fancey said the amphitheater will be able to accommodate crowds of around 500 people, with the possibility of holding nearly 1,000 if the entire park is utilized.

The amphitheater will create the perfect venue for the Monmouth’s Music in the Park series, a collection of summer concerts that take place in Main Street Park every year.

Fancey said the park will benefit Western students in addition to town residents by providing a place to host and perform “plays, drama, and dance.”

An estimated cost for the construction comes in at $1.2 million.

When the project initially began, Fancey said, “The city had the funds in place,” providing half the cost and receiving a $500,000 loan from the city’s Urban Renewal Plan.

“The City of Monmouth Urban Renewal Plan contains goals, objectives, and projects for the revitalization of the Monmouth Urban Renewal District,” according to the city’s website. In this instance, the area of the district is downtown Monmouth.

Construction plans call for the amphitheater to be completed by April or May of 2016.

The completion of the park will mark the third successful park project for the city of Monmouth. The first two were the Madrona Park and the addition of the fountain in the Main Street Park.