Work begins on HJC amphitheater

April 22, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

see the enlargement

HJC Amphitheater

Construction crews have started work on an amphitheater at Hagerstown Junior College, pleasing the school alumni association that worked for years to make it happen.

"We're going to have an amphitheater this year," said Lisa Stewart, coordinator of HJC's alumni office.

The idea for an amphitheater cropped up in 1991 when a group of alumni association members started planning for the college's 50th anniversary in 1996, Stewart said. The project is almost two years behind schedule.

The amphitheater was included in a five-year plan of projects and improvements alumni members wanted undertaken at the college.

Cost estimates for the amphitheater slowed down the project. School officials thought the amphitheater would cost about $700,000, but a bid on the project came in at $1.2 million.


To reduce the cost, alumni members eliminated some items from the project, such as a full basement, foam sprinkler system and sewage pump station.

Officials had expected construction to start last summer, but funding approval delays set back the project, Stewart said.

In February, the college awarded a $429,000 bid to Bruchey Builders of Frederick, Md., to construct the amphitheater.

Two weeks ago, workers began laying underground piping, which will carry electric service to the stage, Stewart said.

The first phase of the project, which will include the stage, dressing rooms and grading for the seating area, could be completed by June, Stewart said.

The second phase will involve building storage areas, bathrooms and other facilities, Stewart said.

The alumni association is accepting donations for the second phase and accepting $19.95 contributions for trees, which will be planted around the amphitheater.

"With Robinwood Drive growing up so much, we wanted to keep the green feel to the area," Stewart said.

Project organizers envision the amphitheater to be the site of Maryland Symphony Orchestra performances, band concerts and other activities at the amphitheater, which will seat about 1,000.

The Herald-Mail Articles