Community college building county's first amphitheater Expected to cost $475,000

$350,000 has been raised

September 02, 1997|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

By spring 1998, a hillside south of Carroll Community College's main building is scheduled to become the county's first outdoor theater.

Construction has started on a $475,000 amphitheater at the college on Washington Road near Westminster. The outdoor theater will be available to community groups and is expected to attract music, dance and theater road companies that have bypassed Carroll County in the past because of lack of performing space.

The outdoor theater is the first project of the Carroll Community College Foundation, a fund-raising arm of the college.

The foundation has raised approximately $350,000 in three years.

Seating will be on the grass initially, although bench seats may be added in front of the stage if money becomes available. The hillside slopes toward a stage that will be roofed and enclosed on three sides. Movable partitions will allow the stage to accommo- date groups ranging from, for example, a five-piece ensemble to an 80-piece orchestra.

"The initial concept came out of discussions [college president] Dr. [Joseph F.] Shields had with community leaders on the type of services that would be beneficial to the people of Carroll County," said Alan M. Schuman, vice president of administration.

One consistent preference in the initial discussions and later public hearings was an outdoor entertainment area, Schuman said. The foundation agreed in 1995 to raise money for the theater.

Project architect Randal Gaskins of Probst-Mason, the Baltimore firm that designed the original community college building in 1984, says construction of the amphitheater will take about four months.

The Westminster Rotary Club will conduct a ceremony inaugurating the amphitheater and celebrating the club's 75th anniversary next spring, Schuman said. The theater is named after the Rotary Clubs of Carroll County, which pledged $75,000 toward the project.

Anyone interested in contributing to the theater can contact the college's office of institutional advancement.

Pub Date: 9/02/97

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