Adams County’s new Veteran’s Memorial will get a companion amphitheater across Mann-Nyholt Lake next year, county commissioners agreed May 9.
“When people are taking pictures and their event is backed up to the lake, they’ll have that battleship and that memorial in the background and that alone will justify this,” Commissioner Chaz Tedesco said. “Anybody that uses that facility will see it, and it can become an iconic place. People will see it in everyone’s background and they’ll want to see it and come there.”
Work on the county’s new Veteran’s Memorial, a replica battleship being built along the southern shore of Mann-Nyholt Lake in the Riverdale Park complex, is due to wrap up in the next couple of weeks. The memorial opens by Memorial Day, May 29, according to Cyndi Stringham, Adams County’s manager of planning, design and construction.
When finished, the memorial will be a life-sized model of the USS Colorado battleship, with the bow jutting into the lake and the current trail passing through the site. It will be surrounded by trails, memorial plaques and places to sit. It is the latest addition to the expansion of Riverdale Regional Park, which now includes the Adams County Fairgrounds, Waymire Dome and the recently opened Riverdale Animal Shelter.
Stringham and Parks and Open Space Director Byron Fanning presented two options for locating the amphitheater — alongside the memorial itself or across the water on Mann-Nyholt Lake’s northern shore.
Both have advantages, she said.
Using the southern side would allow the amphitheater and the memorial itself to share infrastructure, especially parking and bathrooms.
“This site benefits from co-location with the Veterans Memorial because of the presence of new facilities — water, power and electrical service extensions, including site lighting. Lake shore stabilization has already occurred and can be extended for the amphitheater.”
Putting the amphitheater on the north side means the seats would be facing south, with views of the lake and Veteran’s Memorial.
It would be $1.5 million more expensive, she said. It would take up about three acres for the construction, walkways, and parking. The memorial would be the main view across the lake from the amphitheater, she said.
Commissioners agreed the north side of the lake needs infrastructure anyway.
“That part is only going to expand,” Commissioner Chaz Tedesco said. “We have an opportunity to do it now, and we have grown our events in the park to warrant and support infrastructure like this. I think it enhances what we have on the north side.”
Overall, the project should cost $4.9 million. Of that, $462,000 has already been allocated to design the amphitheater and Congress has allocated another $750,000. Commissioners would need to allocate $1.7 million this year to pay to start construction and another $1.3 million in 2024.
Commissioners did discuss what kinds of bathrooms the amphitheater would use. Fanning said he plans to use the same design as that going up on the southern shore, a permanent bathroom facility with a vault to hold the sewage and wastewater. He said it’s much cleaner and easier to maintain than a portable toilet.
“Portapotties are very challenging in terms of keeping them clean,” Fanning said. “They don’t smell great, and they are not a great experience for the customer.”
The print version of this story misspelled Mann-Nyholt Lake. It has been corrected for the online version.