Work on the amphitheater at Lucerne Park is nearly complete. At the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board meeting Tuesday, board members couldn’t come to an agreement on the rental price for the new amphitheater that faces Pike Lake. Photo by David Slone
Work on the amphitheater at Lucerne Park is nearly complete. At the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board meeting Tuesday, board members couldn’t come to an agreement on the rental price for the new amphitheater that faces Pike Lake. Photo by David Slone
Lucerne Park’s amphitheater is progressing near completion, but Tuesday the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board couldn’t decide on a rental fee for it.

Maintenance Director Shaun Gardner said the original contract with Roche Constructors Inc. on the amphitheater is complete. Roche did a great job and contracted a few people out who were “really knowledgeable” about what they were doing, he said.

At the July 5 Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, the sole bid on the project was awarded to Roche Constructors Inc. for $208,700. Then a change order for the project to eliminate the top two rows of seating was approved, reducing the project scope to $166,751. The bid had came in higher than what had been set aside for the amphitheater.

“It turned out really well. We were able to find enough money to continue on the last row so we went ahead and began with that,” Gardner said.

In the meantime, the Parks Department laborers finished all the landscaping along the stairways and the walkway going out toward Pike Lake. Bushes were installed lining the area, and flower beds were put near the amphitheater’s stage. Hostas were planted and annuals will be planted next spring. A sidewalk was added at the top, and a walkway at the bottom for ADA compliance. One more sidewalk will go in next week. The whole hill was grass seeded, except the top where more excavation is needed.

“It turned out really nice. Super excited to get in next year and get that thing rented out,” Gardner said, telling the board it needs to consider rental fees for the amphitheater for next year.

Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer asked the board for discussion on those fees and said it would be for a daily rate as that’s the way the parks system is. Gardner said Administrative Assistant Heather Frazier has already had a handful of calls wanting to reserve the amphitheater next year. Frazier said the current fee is $26.75 per day, which was raised in January 2018 from $10.

Board President Steve Haines said the plaza at Central Park is $100 per day and the amphitheater should be just as much. Plummer said the plaza also has a $250 damage deposit, which he said probably keeps some people from renting it. With the security cameras in place, that damage deposit could be reduced.

Board member Michelle Boxell asked if the new amphitheater has access to electricity. Gardner said five more lights were installed around it so it “really lights up at night, it’s beautiful when it’s dark out.” They also put outlets in at the bottom of those lights.

Plummer said the outlets are 110 amps.

From the floor, John Warren asked the board if they’ve ever considered charging non-Warsaw residents a fee different from Warsaw residents. Haines said the board never has, but also Wayne Township provides a contribution to the parks for township residents to use Warsaw’s parks.

Boxell made a motion to raise the amphitheater to equal that of the plaza ($100 daily) and then go through a season to see how it goes. The plaza’s and amphitheater’s damage deposits also would be reduced from $250 to $100. The board then could review it at the end of the 2020 park season.

No other board member seconded Boxell’s motion and it died for lack of a second. The board will review the amphitheater rental fees again at its November meeting.