Construction on New Albany’s new Riverfront Amphitheater has begun to show some progress. The old yellow tensile-fabric amphitheater was damaged in the wind storm last year. While the construction site doesn’t look like much today, concrete foundations are already in place and a large red crane looms over the riverfront.
Construction is scheduled to be finished in time for an inaugural showing of the Wizard of Oz in early July when 42 munchkins will take the stage. The entire project is expected to cost just under $700,000, about $100,000 more than the city hoped to pay. Funding sources include insurance money from wind storm damage, the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention & Tourism Bureau, and money from New Albany City Council. The rest of the money for the project is expected to come from fundraising in the area.
The structure is a half-dome of steel and acoustical roofing with the familiar yellow color of the old amphitheater. It reflects the curves of the Sherman-Minton bridge in the background and slightly resembles a rising sun on the Sunny Side. The new canopy will cover 6,000 square feet. The C-J reported in April that the arches would read 100 feet tall, but that seems a little extreme to us. We’re thinking it’s probably more like 100 feet wide and around 35 feet tall based on the rendering, but who knows? We like the modern references to the classic art-deco band shells of last century blended with the more fluid and dynamic arches that somehow remind us of the river. Any way you look at it, it’s bound to be a great addition to the New Albany waterfront. The rendering was painted by local architect Dan Church.