Park amphitheater to get upgrade with $800K state award



CENTERVILLE — The city’s largest park has been awarded $800,000 in state capital funds for upgrades, including at its amphitheater.

Centerville officials announced Monday Ohio funding for improvements at Leonard E. Stubbs Memorial Park as part of a project that may provide “structured terrace seating” at the site of the city’s annual summer concert series.

“The amphitheater is the focal point” of the 60-acre park on West Spring Valley Road, Centerville Development Director Michael Norton-Smith said in a statement.

“It is important to keep the existing bandshell but make improvements to lighting and power to allow for more programming,” Norton-Smith added.

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Stubbs drew more than 16,700 people to concerts and performances in 2019, he added. The 2020 concert series was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stubbs was only park operated by the city until last year, when it added the 11-acre Cornerstone Park, Kate Bostdorff, Centerville communications director, said in an email.

Stubbs features a variety of amenities, including playground equipment, walking trails, a disc golf course, an inline skating rink and a veterans memorial which hosts events on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, according to the city’s website.

The state funds also may be used for renovations to the band shell, the creation of structured terrace seating and expanded ADA areas to allow greater accessibility for visitors, according to the city.

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

The city may also construct a new restroom building with added space to accommodate concessions and an educational center.

Specific work will be determined later after discussions with engineers, Bostdorff said. Construction is anticipated to start in late 2021 or 2022, she said.

It “all depends on engineering plans…I would expect in the next six months we will have a better idea of what exactly will be there,” Bostdorff added.

“The terraced seating will not include actual seats” and more level ground near the stage “will allow for more wheelchair and stroller accessibility. Currently the amphitheater has only a relatively small paved handicapped section,” she said.

City officials credited local Ohio lawmakers for supporting efforts to include the park in state capital funding.

“Our state legislators see the value, like city council does, in supporting Stubbs Park with increased capacity for community and educational programming, improving the quality of life and economic vitality in Centerville,” Mayor Brooks Compton said.

About the Author