After four years of designing, planning and waiting, Floyd County is taking the final steps to start the library amphitheater project.
The open air stage will be built behind the facility at 205 Riverside Parkway as a joint project with Rome Area Council for the Arts.
Preparations have been underway for the last few years after a $200,000 donation was made by Dr. and Mrs. Charles Sennett as a memorial for their son. The amphitheater will be named the Chuck O. Sennett III Pavilion in his honor.
Robert Noble designed the amphitheater, which will utilize the natural bowl overlooking the Oostanaula River and connect back to the trail system. They’re still finalizing plans for seating to make sure they don’t disrupt too much of the vegetation in the area.
The county is waiting on the grading permit to get approved before they can break ground on the project. The grading is estimated to take a few months and then Dwayne Alford with Multi Craft Construction will handle the construction.
“It’s been in the works for years so we can finally get some traction,” County Commissioner Allison Watters said. “The county will take care of the grading and prep work.”
The amphitheater will be managed by the county to make sure it’s taken care of in case of flooding or damage over the years, according to RACA board member Chris Kerr.
“The amphitheater will really be for the public. ... Being part of the library really opens it up to a lot more uses,” he said. “Rome has such a rich arts community — from theater to musical performances to readings. There’s a lot of different things people can do with the stage.”
Kerr also pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic showed a great need for more outdoor performance venues in the area.
The county plans on having an official groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of the project and honor the Sennett family.