Economic Development

McNally Names Committee to Review Amphitheater

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Four city department heads and a member of City Council will be among the members of a committee to evaluate responses to the city’s request for qualifications from firms interested in designing an amphitheater and greenspace between the Market Street and South Avenue bridges.

Sean McKinney, building and grounds commissioner, will head the committee, Mayor John McNally said Tuesday. The committee will assess how and whether to proceed with the project, and make its recommendation to the mayor.

The proposed amphitheater and greenspace would be located on the former Wean United property adjacent to the Covelli Centre and extending west toward Market Street.

Six firms submitted responses to the city by the March 24 deadline.

Joining McKinney on the committee will be:

  • Charles Shasho, deputy director, public works,
  • Robert Burke, park and recreation director,
  • T. Sharon Woodberry, director of community planning and economic development,
  • Annie Gillam, First Ward councilwoman,
  • Aaron Young, executive director, Mill Creek MetroParks,
  • Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management and executive director of the Covelli Centre.

McNally said he enlisted the city department heads due to their expertise and Mill Creek Park’s Young for aspects of the project related to the greenspace and riverwalk area. He invited Ryan because of his experience with the Covelli Centre and “just generally his good work” with the arena, which has steadily improved financially since JAC took over operations there.

The amphitheater and greenspace would located in the city’s First Ward, which Gillam represents.

Ryan, who has supported the addition of a companion amphitheater to improve the Covelli Centre’s profitability during the summer months is pleased with the steps the city is taking. “I’m looking forward to working with the other committee members on this exciting project and thrilled the city has chosen to advance it,” he remarked.

McKinney “will take the lead from here” in distributing the qualifications statements submitted by the six firms to the committee members and set up any necessary meetings to review them over the next few weeks, McNally said. The committee will then determine which firms the members want to meet with.

“I would like to see this process move along in the next two to three months,” he said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.