Lubber Run Amphitheater Repairs Approved

by ARLnow.com May 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm 4,022 8 Comments

The Lubber Run Amphitheater will be open for performances later this summer thanks to the efforts of community members and county staff.

Just two months ago, a 107-page county-commissioned study suggested that it could cost up to $3.5 million to get the deteriorating amphitheater back up to current code standards. With tight county finances, amphitheater supporters feared that it could be years before the amphitheater would be restored and reopened.

Shortly after the study was released, though, a group called the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation was formed and began arguing that only a few relatively inexpensive fixes were necessary to reopen the local landmark. As we found out at this afternoon’s County Board meeting, they were right and they were able to work with county staff to turn their convictions into action.

For less than $100,000 — the amount allotted by the County Board this year for a floodplain study — contractors will soon commence a number of repairs to make the 43-year-old amphitheater safer and more accessible. They will replace the wooden stage, replace area and stage lighting, purchase portable hearing devices, and install handicap-accessible parking spaces, portable restrooms and designated seating.

“With the community’s help, we have developed a plan to make the amphitheater a safe, seasonal venue for outdoor entertainment,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement today. “These basic repairs and modest improvements will make the amphitheater accessible to persons with disabilities and keep it in compliance with federal, state, and local guidelines for work in a 100-year floodplain and Resource Protection Area (RPA).”

Donnellan first announced the repairs at a Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation-sponsored meeting last night.

“To say they were thrilled was an understatement,” Donnellan told the board today. “This is not a perfect solution, but it is do-able.”

The repairs are expected to take until the end of July. After that, there’s ample money in the budget to fund outdoor programming at the amphitheater.

  • ArlForester

    Great work by all the folks who poured their hearts into saving Lubber Run!!

  • MayorOfWestover

    This is all I want from my local government. Be responsive to what the people want. Don’t take it upon yourselves to create something, like Artisphere, and then try to convince people it’s what they should be doing. Listen to what the people want, and do that.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      +10, MayorOfWestover!

  • Jason S.

    Good job on the people who actually managed to get the ear of their betters. The study alone probably cost more than the actual necessary repairs would be.

    • Skeptical


      You can call the county government more powerful than the people whom it serves, but *better*? Would you care to rephrase that?

      • anon

        Sounded like sarcasm to me.

  • ArlForester

    I think everyone should know to never hire the firm that came up with a $3.5m repair bill. What an load.

  • John Fontain

    Hats off to the citizens who shepherded this practical, financially sound outcome and to the county for making the right call and using tax dollars very wisely. This is a fantastic outcome.


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