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Blair eyes amphitheater renovation

Board looks to improve, expand Valley View facility

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The committee supervising Valley View County Park is asking Blair County commissioners for permission to solicit sponsorships toward the cost of replacing the park’s amphitheater and other park upgrades.

Joseph Keller of Keller Engineers, on behalf of the county’s Park and Recreation Advisory Board, said the group is asking the county to apply this year for a state grant of up to $250,000 from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

With the grant and matching dollars from sponsorships, Keller said the county will be in a position to replace the park’s existing 800-square foot amphitheater with a 1,200-square-foot version.

The new amphitheater will be built with a floor, a roof, partially enclosed sides, electrical and lighting upgrades and an accessible path for the handicapped, based on information provided to commissioners.

In addition, depending on the available money, Keller said the board is interested in improving the park’s road which provides access to the amphitheater.

Keller outlined the proposal during Tuesday’s commissioners meeting where Chairman Bruce Erb endorsed the idea of including road improvements in the proposed project.

The deadline for the state grant program is April 20, with a decision expected to be rendered in November. The projected time frame for construction, Keller said, would be fall of 2021 through 2022.

Blair County commissioners, in the 1980s, created Valley View County Park in response to a court order examining the county’s plans to lease Lakemont Park to a private developer. Because Lakemont Park had been deeded to the county for public recreation, then-county Judge Richard Behrens ordered the county to create a replacement park of at least 25 acres within 5 miles of Lakemont Park.

In addition to the amphitheater, the park has facilities for picnicking, walking, disc golf and a garden designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

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