PICKENS- The Pickens City Council has officially awarded a $386,000 contract to Durham-Greene Construction Company to build Phase One of the downtown Pickens amphitheatre.
“Equipment has already been moved onto the property and we are excited to see the first of several downtown initiatives come to fruition. The Amphitheatre should be complete for the Azalea Festival and we’ve spoken to the Azalea Festival Committee and they do have it programmed,” said City Administrator, Katherine Brackett. “Citizens and people coming to visit our town will be able to enjoy it as soon as April 15.”
According to Brackett, there are three phases to the amphitheatre project.
“This is phase one of three phases. This will be an amphitheatre structure ready for use with the electrical. We will have parking lots and we will have substantial landscaping and an established entrance and exit to get out,” Brackett said. “The project will be usable and ready to be programmed in this phase.”
Phase two will bring additional construction.
“Next phase we hope to have the top put on the amphitheatre so we can wire in the speakers and also the open air pavilion which can be used for a farmer’s market or a public gathering place and any kind of downtown market,” Brackett said.
The three part project will exceed one million dollars but has been broken up into three separate estimated fees.
“The overall cost of phase one is $430,000. We did allocate $30,000 from our hospitality operating budget expense to make this final phase ready. Phase two is estimated at close to $600,000 and phase three is estimated at close to $300,000, bringing the total project cost to approximately $1.2 million,” Brackett said.
City officials expect phase one of the Amphitheatre project to contribute to city events upon completion.
“We immediately expect to program the stage at the Azalea festival which brings close to 30,000 people to the City of Pickens. In addition, we are already getting phone calls from bands as far away as Virginia about our Founder’s Day Music Festival and we will be excited to program that stage for our large Bluegrass Festival in September later this year,” Brackett said. “Whenever we have events downtown, we get positive comments from businesses.”