When the Rome Area Council for the Arts and Floyd County Commission agreed on a deal to create an amphitheater on the grounds of the Sarah Hightower Library, it set off a planning process that includes an open call for architectural designs.
Mandy Maloney, executive director for RACA, said the group has been seriously considering sites for much of the past year.
“We’ve been talking with the city and the county about flood plains and all that kind of stuff,” Maloney said.
Laurie Hubbard has chaired the committee that has been working on plans for the project which was funded by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Charles Sennett, as a memorial to their son, Chuck Sennett who was a photographer.
“Mrs. Sennett had been on the original library board and was the first to tell me that was part of the original library plans,” Hubbard said. “How wonderful that we’re able to facilitate that now, too.”
The site is already a natural amphitheater and Maloney said she was excited to see what different designers might be able to come up with conceptually.
“I think there could be some terracing, but I don’t think it’s necessary,” Maloney said. “We do think we want to have a stage area and a cover but we don’t want it to feel out of place in the setting.”
“I think we could put almost anything you can do outside there,” Maloney said of the library site overlooking the Oostanaula River. “It’s an intimate enough setting that it would be great for not just artistic things but I could see weddings there, family reunions, birthday parties, picnics, definitely the library is going to use it for their summer reading program.”
The walking trail from downtown out through Ridge Ferry Park to State Mutual Stadium looks over the natural bowl and separates it from the existing parking lot of the library providing ample parking for special events.
“We know this will help the library and the arts and we want to work together some,” Hubbard said.
Designs for the project should be submitted by Nov. 21 to RACA at email@example.com.