CATHEDRAL CITY – Construction on a $3.7 million amphitheater in the heart of downtown has been temporarily delayed because construction bids came in more than $1 million over budget, according to Mayor Stan Henry.

The project will again be released for bids with the goal of starting construction later this year and having the project finished by September 15, 2019.

Construction on the 2,900-seat venue, which will feature theater-style seating, will add another showpiece to the revitalized hub of activity.

At a recent City Hall at Your Corner meeting, resident Melinda Shapiro expressed concern that a south-facing amphitheater will create noise issues for the Cove.

Mayor Henry assured her that an extensive sound study showed that noise will not be a factor.  Speakers will be located on the south side of the property facing north and sounds, in general, will be deflected by the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre (CVRep) building.

“The area has for many, many years been conceived as an entertainment center and both traffic and noise have been taken into consideration in the proposed project designs,” Henry said.

Once completed, it will feature a walking trail and children’s play area.

“The amphitheater is one of our main anchors we are looking to have in our downtown entertainment district,” Mayor Stan Henry told Uken Report. “Our goal is to have the downtown be a live, vibrant area that our residents and visitors want to come to. We look forward to having all types of events in the amphitheater in the near future.”

Cathedral City has been actively rejuvenating its downtown district and commons area. A wealth of projects has already been completed, including new civic center complex and town square. This area includes city government offices, the police department, a cinema complex, a soon-to-open repertory theatre, restaurants, a parking structure, and recreational amenities such as the Fountain of Life, and the Cathedral City Festival Lawn, which provides grass areas for outdoor enjoyment and festival events.

To further enhance the downtown, the City has dedicated vacant land next to the Civic Center for the downtown outdoor amphitheater.

In a continuing effort to encourage public use of this civic space, the city applied for and received a $1.4 million California State Parks Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to create a new and interactive outdoor amphitheater space for cultural, entertainment and recreation events and activities. This grant must cover the cost to design and construct the theater and amenities, as well as all city costs for project and grant administration.

An additional $1.4 million was donated to the project as matching funds from the City Urban Revitalization Corporation (C.U.R.C.).  The City Council also authorized an additional $900,000 to help cover the estimated cost projections to build the amphitheater based on City Engineer projections.

The amphitheater will be utilized for the city’s signature festivals such as the Balloon Festival, Taste of Jalisco, and LGBT Days. It will also be available to be leased for third-party promotions.  Once complete, the amphitheater is expected to play host to other events such as Movies in the Park, Shakespeare in the Park, Food Truck events, and general park uses.

Currently, the park subject site is comprised of a vacant lot at the northeast corner of Cathedral Canyon Drive and Avenida Lalo Guerrero within the civic center complex and adjacent to the downtown parking structure. The total size of the lots is 2.51 acres.