Downtown stage construction could begin in April

A rendering of a possible stage in downtown Austin. Photo provided

A rendering of a possible stage in downtown Austin. Photo provided

If all goes well, community leaders expect downtown Austin could be a lot more interesting as soon as late May.

Vision 2020’s downtown committee met with the public to gather a few more ideas while honing the focus of a stage at the Town Center on Main Street. Leaders hope stage construction on the $50,000 project will begin April 15 and be completed by the end of May.

Vision 2020 Director Laura Helle said committee chairwoman Stephnee Leathers and co-chairwoman Sarah Douty relayed some good ideas offered by nearby business owners and interested parties on Wednesday. The stage will also serve Tuesday’s on Main well with the capacity for more than just musical performances. The 27-by-22-foot stage will use the existing half-circle wall as part of its base and have a canvass roof, wiring and lighting.

“The project involves building the stage and some last-minute landscaping to the fire site and picnic tables,” Helle said.

Another view of the potential downtown plaza stage. Photo provided

Another view of the potential downtown plaza stage. Photo provided

Helle added those leading the project are still waiting for more donations to fund it; however, several donations have already come in from the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the Main Street Project and private donors. Furthermore, Riverland students will donate their time to construct the stage, which will save $15,000 and reduce the cost to $35,000. Helle would not yet release the current amount raised.

The Austin City Council on Monday approved how future upkeep of the stage will be done when members voted to accept the stage and maintain it and have Austin Parks and Recreation manage it. While there is no guarantee the project will be complete at the end of May, Helle is pleased with the hard work by the Vision 2020 committee and community and said the ball is rolling.

“Everything is moving, and if we keep to the pace we’re at, we will be right on time,” she said.

Correction: A previous version of this story mentioned free labor would reduce the cost of the stage to $50,000. It would actually reduce the cost to $35,000.

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