Economic Development

McNally to Name Amphitheater Review Committee

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Mayor John McNally could finalize a committee later today to review the six responses to the city’s request for proposals for an amphitheater and greenspace on the former Wean property.

“My best intention is to do it by the end of the day,” McNally said, but added he didn’t guarantee it.

The six firms responding to the city’s request by the March 24 deadline were Olsavsky Jaminet Architects, Youngstown; Tetra Tech Inc., Canfield; Westlake Reed Leskosky, New York; Balog Steines Hendricks & Manchester Architects, Youngstown; Strollo Architects Inc., Youngstown; and MKSK, a Columbus firms partnering with MS Consultants Inc., Youngstown.

Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works, said he is pleased to see the degree of response by local companies to the city’s request for quotes.

“Almost all the local firms, the big players in the local arena, were interested, which is what we wanted to see,” he said.

The amphitheater would serve as a companion facility to the Covelli Centre and provide a venue for shows during the summer concert season, when bookings typically drop for indoor venues. The other improvements called for in the RFQ would provide greenspace downtown lacks and a space for festivals and other events.

Once its members are selected, McNally said, the committee, modeled on the one he used to select a downtown events coordinator, will review the six submissions and decide on the number of presentations to be heard.

Committee members will also develop scoring criteria for the proposals, Shasho said. The reviewing team will have five to seven members, primarily from City Hall but possibly include individuals from outside city government.

The committee will then make its recommendation to the mayor and the city Board of Control regarding “how we should move forward with a particular company in terms of the design work and other aspects of this project,” McNally said.

“I would expect within a month or six weeks for some decisions to be made but we’re going to move quickly on it,” he said.

Funding for the project will not come from the city’s general fund, the mayor reiterated. “We’re going to be looking at state grants and other state funding sources and also the private sector to assist as well,” he said.

McNally said he has received interest from local entities regarding potential naming rights for the amphitheater as well as the greenspace. “I expect to see some more of that perk up as we move forward in the process, but I’ve been pretty happy with what I’ve heard in discussions I’ve had,” he remarked.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.