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Outdoor amphitheater starts to take shape

Plans for Walterboro’s new outdoor amphitheater are starting to form, as members of Walterboro City Council are working closely with the architects who are now working to design the new entertainment space.

The proposed amphitheater will be constructed in connection with the incoming Discovery Center: the center will be the headquarters for the sanctuary, and will house both live and static (not living) animal exhibits. The center will sit on the current lot at the end of Hampton Street and on Jefferies Boulevard, in a now empty commercial space across from the Colleton County Courthouse. According to city officials, the entire center will be open to the public, with the city’s new tourism department and Walterboro’s parks department being used to run the center.

The Discovery Center is also meant to be a destination point for local and regional school children. The center is also meant to be a tourist attraction, according to city officials.

The entire center is being constructed through several streams of funding resources, which includes city funds and grant funds. The incoming amphitheater is a part of the center’s overall design plan.

Early design plans recently shown to city council indicate that the amphitheater will have approximately 220 seats. This seating estimate is based on the assumption of each person sitting on the concrete bleachers having about 18-inches of personal space: less space used by each person would maximize the seating capacity to approximately 400 potential seats, according to minutes from a recent city meeting where the amphitheater was discussed.

Additionally, proposed sketches of the new outdoor amphitheater would give the city about 15 feet of usable space for a stage. Sketches indicate that there will be room for dancing and other “potential activities,” according to the recorded minutes of a recent city meeting where the amphitheater was discussed. The overall plans for the amphitheater and its surround area also includes toilets, grass space for blankets and parking areas. The City Council recently purchased the former county parking lot from Colleton County Council to make room for both the amphitheater construction and to provide for additional parking for the new space. Walterboro City Council has not yet approved any final plans. The design phase is ongoing.

City Council will also address the following requests that are being made this week by several local organizations: A request is being made to hang a banner recognizing the fifth annual Smoke in the ‘Boro BBQ Cookoff; a second banner will be hung in the city from April 2-7 recognizing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week; and purple ribbons will be placed throughout downtown Walterboro during the first week of May recognizing local Relay for Life efforts.

Heather Walters (1724 Posts)