Joshua Dillen
The Baker City Herald

The outdoor amphitheater in Baker City’s Central Park is being terraced to create a more convenient place for visitors to watch movies and other events.

City crews have been busy since last week with heavy equipment to make the terraces and also have installed electric conduit to the stage to power concerts and other events, said Joyce Bornstedt, the city’s technical administrative supervisor.

“I’m excited to have it done and I’m excited that we’re taking another step in that Central Park Conceptual Master Plan,” she said. “I think that the area will become more utilized. We’ll see less negative activity there.”

Central Park is just west of the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway, between Valley and Washington avenues.

Last summer saw a renewed interest in utilizing the park’s amphitheater and stage including Thursday family movie nights and concerts.

The finished project will feature two stairways with handrails and large steps that measure 2 feet by 5 feet with a brick patterned surface on either side of the amphitheater’s terraces.

A volunteer crew organized by City Councilor Loran Joseph will be installing the retaining walls that separate each of three terraces — four including the top of the amphitheater’s hill — Saturday morning beginning at 8 o’clock.

Joseph said Thursday afternoon he had about six people committed, and hopes to have about a dozen volunteers show up.

One set of stairs has been placed by city workers and the other will be installed after the retaining walls are finished. Once the stairs are in place, the handrails and sod will be installed.

Bornstedt said the city crews will have the first course of landscape stones laid at each tier of the retaining walls for the volunteer crew.

Joseph said he hopes the project will be finished by the end of the month

Fundraising efforts organized by Joseph have brought in about $5,000 in addition to $22,000 — a $10,000 Leo Adler grant and $12,000 in city dollars — the city has for the project, which is estimated to cost about $24,000.

“The volunteer labor really allows us to stretch those dollars,” Joseph said. “The lessening of public works labor gives more money to play with for other things in the future.”

See more in the April 6, 2018, issue of the Baker City Herald.

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