Plans for a major renovation of the historic William A. Carroll Amphitheater in Land Park took a step forward this week.
The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved a master plan for the $7 million project created by BCA Architects.
The amphitheater, which is more than 100 years old, is rarely used, Councilman Steve Hansen said. There are no bathrooms, no dressing rooms, no ticket booth and it is not ADA compliant, which causes safety hazards, Hansen said.
“This is the biggest step so far toward bringing more life to the amphitheater, which has sort of a storied history, but is in danger of being shut down because of ADA issues,” Hansen said.
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The plan would add those amenities, as well as upgrade the lighting and sound systems, which will make it an attractive venue for summertime jazz nights, civic events, musical performances and graduations, Hansen said.
BCA Architects released concept images this week that depict backed benches, a multi-tiered stage with an orchestra alcove, a canopy overhang providing shade to the seats and an extended picnic area.
The city will seek donations to help cover the $7 million cost, Hansen said. The first phase will cost about $3 million, likely funded by the city, and will focus on fixing the ADA and safety issues as well as new seating, Hansen said.
The amphitheater’s historic features, such as its stone seat walls and paving, terraced seating and landscaping, will be preserved, Hansen said.
Land Park Community Association board member Steve Winlock agreed on the importance of preservation.
“We’re not building Golden 1 (Center) right there,” said Winlock, who is also chairman of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. “We’re keeping the flavor of what the amphitheater was and enhancing it in a lot of ways.”
The new amphitheater will be able to host musical and artistic acts that can’t always use the Community Center Theater because it is too big or too expensive, Winlock said.
The city’s goal is to start the first phase of construction in 2020, finish in 2021, then move to the other phases, Hansen said.
If the project gets some big donations, though, the project could finish sooner.
“What we’re looking for really is a name sponsor, either a family or a local company that really wants to give back,” Hansen said. “Then also we’ll encourage the community to sponsor the benches and other amenities to help build it out.”