Youngstown OKs Contracts for Amphitheater, Training Center

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city Board of Control voted Thursday to move forward with contracts to advance the proposed downtown amphitheater and regional manufacturing training center.

The mayor, finance director and law director approved paying $141,000 to MKSK, a landscape architecture firm based in Columbus, for work leading up to and including development of a master plan for an amphitheater and riverfront park next to the Covelli Centre and to consider ways to link Phelps and Hazel streets to the amphitheater.

Last month, a committee named by Mayor John McNally recommended MKSK for the amphitheater project. McNally, Finance Director David Bozanich and Law Director Marty Hume compose the Board of Control’s membership.

MKSK will be paid $94,000 under the professional services agreement to prepare the master plan. That includes drawings, budgets and a funding program summary, the last item due Jan. 15.

The firm will be paid $47,000 for the Phelps and Hazel streets work. A schedule for delivering the concept design, design development and construction drawings is yet to be determined.

The project would result in a “high-quality amphitheater with linkage areas to downtown,” Youngstown State University and Mill Creek MetroParks, Bozanich said.

“This will be a game-changer for downtown,” he remarked. He also emphasized that the project would present “no additional liability” to the city general fund.

In 2013, City Council approved seeking letters of interest for professional architectural and design services to build an amphitheater.

“Everybody that has heard of or examined the potential for the project sees it as a boon to the city’s development, essentially putting a recreational area within easy walking distance of the residences of people downtown,” Hume said.

The board also approved three agreements related to development of the Youngstown-Mahoning Valley manufacturing training center. A local partnership that includes the city, the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, YSU, Eastern Gateway Community College and county career and technical centers is behind the effort.

Under a consultant services agreement, MS Consultants Inc., Youngstown, will provide engineering and architectural services “for the concept and development of a joint-use manufacturing/training center” in downtown Youngstown.

MS will be paid $42,500 for the work, which consists of site selection, cost estimates and assistance in obtaining funding sources.

Two additional items were approved involving the project. The board accepted a $50,000 planning grant from the state of Ohio’s Local Government Innovation Fund. The city applied for the grant funds on behalf of the partners.

Also approved was execution of a $7,500 professional services agreement with Thomas P. Miller Associates, Indianapolis, to prepare a memorandum of understanding to define the partnerships and guild planning in accordance with the planning grant.

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