FSU Supports Pricketts Fort Amphitheater Renovation

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A major renovation project announced today will upgrade the Pricketts Fort Amphitheater, enhancing its availability and accessibility as a venue for outdoor community events.

The Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation (PFMF) has initiated the project with the goal to improve the 20-year-old outdoor amphitheater at Prickett's Fort State Park before the 2011 summer season. Today, July 1, 2010, the Foundation has announced the launch of a capital campaign to raise $250,000 to complete the project. The campaign theme is "Bringing the Past Forward."

"The outdoor amphitheater is widely used throughout the summer months for concerts, theatrical performances, and other types of community events. Planned upgrades will directly benefit guests and performers and will enable additional programming opportunities for Prickett's Fort State Park," said Kevin Rogers, Chair of the PFMF Board of Directors.

The amphitheater renovation project will address access and aesthetic issues, upgrade technical resources, and increase guest comfort and safety. Improvements will include: permanent seating, pathway and aisle lighting, handrails along walkways and steps, new light rigging with larger span, new conduit and wiring for sound and lights, a covered backstage holding area for performers.

School of Fine Arts Dean Peter Lach stated, "Improvements at the Prickett's Fort State Park Amphitheater would be most beneficial to the Theatre Program at Fairmont State University.  Our collaboration results in entertainment for our general community, but also educational opportunities for Fairmont State students.  The amphitheater venue is such a beautiful location to start with, but to enhance the performers' experience as well as the audience experience would make it even more beautiful."

The Project Team consists of Architect: Kenton Blackwood, Blackwood Associates, Inc.; Project Management: Melissa May and Greg Bray, PFMF Executive and Assistant Director; and Theater Consultants: Troy Snyder and Peter Lach, Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts.

Kenton Blackwood described the process. "Working with the Executive Director, the Facilities Committee, the Foundation Board and representatives of FSU's theater department, several plans with varying levels of proposed improvements were developed and considered relative to the estimated costs associated. Priorities were established and a phased approach was approved by the Board of Directors. The current proposed scope-of-work includes a new light rig structure that spans the audience seating area, permanent seating, pathway/aisle lighting, ADA handrails and guardrails at the existing sidewalks and steps, and general upgrades to the sound and lighting control systems."


The campaign committee, comprised of Dixie Yann, Kevin Rogers, Lyn Dotson, Helen Jones, Larry Starcher, and Mary Jo Thomas, has developed a layered fund-raising plan that includes several opportunities for individuals, businesses, and organizations to support the project.

Those who would like to support the renovation can sponsor a chair or purchase a brick that can be personalized with an engraved acknowledgment. Planned giving options and naming opportunities are also available. Major donors will be acknowledged by name on a permanent plaque in The Gate Post. For more information about how to donate, visit http://www.prickettsfort.org/.

For more information, contact Melissa May, Executive Director of the Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation, at (304) 363-3030 or director@prickettsfort.org.