By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Developing a vision is one thing. Seeing that vision become a reality is another.
Volunteers with the Riverview Park Bandshell restoration project couldn’t be happier with the progression they’ve seen already. That vision comes from a community group, named Vision 8, whose mission is to build alliances between the community and city officials who are all out to make Clinton an ideal place to reside.
While it has taken some time to develop the plans and specifications for the design of the bandshell renovation, construction on the project has not missed a beat.
“This has all happened really fast,” Clinton Fire Chief and Vision 8 volunteer Mike Brown said. “The reaction so far has been really amazing and I think people are going to freak when they see it completed.”
And community members won’t have to wait much longer for that reveal if the reconstruction of the bandshell maintains its steady pace.
In only a few weeks the music venue is already nearing the halfway point of its May 15 deadline, and if weather permits, Brown and City Engineer Jason Craft say they could beat that deadline by nearly two weeks.
“The project is over 50 percent completed, including the majority of the big parts of the project,” Craft said. “It should be wrapping up in the next couple of months — probably the middle to early May.”
The nearly $200,000 project, funded in part by grants from the Clinton Community Development Association and other outside resources, wasn’t originally designed to be such an elaborate restoration but once Craft and the engineering department received the concept from Vision 8, they realized some structural changes needed to be made.
To ensure the performance stage could withstand the test of time and a heavy wind load created by the river, Craft knew a more in depth look at the redesign was necessary before construction could begin.
“Their initial concept was just affixing a sign to the top and attaching two stick-built towers,” Craft said. “With an old structure like that we weren’t sure about the original design. We wanted to make sure things were safe.”
The towers are now constructed with steel beams topped with cupolas designed to mirror the nearby Riverview Swimming Pool. At just the correct angle, all four cupolas are visible at one time.
Also, to tie in with the river front’s only restaurant, the siding on the bandshell will mimic the gray exterior of the Candlelight Inn, making the whole river front area one cohesive theme.
“I think we have the best river front on the whole Mississippi River,” Brown said. “We’ve got the marina, the restaurant, the pool, the baseball field and now this. I think this will be the catalyst we need to someday getting a lot more use out of that area.”