By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — A group of Clinton volunteers wants to transform the Riverview bandshell from an unkempt structure to an attractive venue for community events.
Members of Vision 8, a Clinton-based nonprofit organization working together to improve the image of Clinton and to build trust and community for the betterment of the city, want to give the bandshell a facelift in order to provide more opportunities to bring people to the riverfront.
During the Clinton City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting, members of the group explained their project to renovate the facility to council members.
“It’s in need of substantial work to improve its appearance and that of the park,” Vision 8 member David Helscher said. “It could serve as a performance venue and continue to draw people to the park to enjoy...one of the crown jewels of the city.”
Vision 8 members outlined some of the current issues with the facility as well as the changes that could be made to improve it.
“It’s not only an eyesore, it’s at that point in its life that it needs some attention or with water damage, weather, or whatever, it’s not going to last very long,” Vision 8 member Jeff Stoller said.
Stoller showed council members a rendering of the structure with the proposed renovations. The group would like to put a facade on the building with stucco materials similar to the amenities building, which houses the Candlelight Inn. The renovations also included constructing two tower-like structures on either side of the stage with windows at the peak that would be done in frosted glass and could light up during a night-time event.
Ward 3 Councilwoman Bev Hermann raised concerns about the sound that travels from the bandshell and permeates the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre. With more activities potentially coming from the bandshell, Hermann feared the potential impact of more noise.
“My concern is we need to provide for both. The use of the bandshell and the use of the Showboat. They are an important part of the community,” Hermann said.
Helscher said the group would work with the Showboat to ensure both facilities can work together to provide entertainment opportunities for the community.
“If this project goes through and is seen and attracts, there will be some marketing and scheduling that will have to take place. There will have to be somebody that will be responsible for that and working with the Showboat so that we’re not competing. That’s not the intention to cannibalize audiences,” Helscher said.
The group is working to secure funds for the project with the potential to use a grant that is already in place.
The city has a final disbursement coming from the Clinton County Development Association for the marina Vision Iowa projects, which Vision 8 members would like to use to improve the bandshell. The bandshell is among the structures included in Vision Iowa. Others are the marina, amenities building, stadium, pool and Showboat.
Of the $200,000 final reimbursement, the bandshell would absorb $80,000. CCDA members agreed to look into re-designating the funds to the bandshell after Vision 8 members made the request during the CCDA’s Wednesday meeting.
City Council members gave support and agreed to re-designate some of the funds to the bandshell improvement. Ward 4 Councilman Paul Gassman voted not to re-designate the marina disbursement.