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Upgrade coming for downtown Plymouth entertainment gatherings

 Upgrade coming for downtown Plymouth entertainment gatherings

A drawing of what Plymouth’s new bandshell will look like once it arrives in approximately eight months.

Entertainers who perform in downtown Plymouth (and audiences who enjoy their talents) will be amped up to learn they’re getting a new platform — and we’re not talking social media variety platforms.

During its April 15 meeting, the Plymouth City Commission unanimously voted to approve the purchase of a new $246,110 bandshell to replace the aging stage that has been in use since 1998.

The bulk of the funding for the Stageline SL100 bandshell will come from a $200,000 special grant the city secured through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The city will dip into its equipment fund to cover the balance of the cost.

Downtown Plymouth hosts approximately 185 events every year, according to an administrative recommendation from Assistant City Manager Chris Porman to the mayor and city commissioners.

“Concerts and other entertainment events in Kellogg Park are attended by hundreds of thousands of people every year, so this will be one of the most-visible pieces of the city,” said Commissioner Jennifer Kehoe. “Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this happen.”

Thorough research

Prior to securing bids for the new bandshell, Plymouth’s Department of Municipal Services representatives talked to several special-event users to learn what they’d like to see in a new stage.

Among the features users noted were deck size, ease of setup, durability and lead time for delivery.

The Stageline model approved by the commission is expected to arrive in approximately eight months while Century Industries — the only other major bandshell manufacturer — needed 12 to 18 months for delivery, Porman told the commissioners.

” The Stageline SL100 has the same deck size with greater flexibility and ease of use with options for additional stage extensions, rigging materials and enhanced marketing materials,” Porman’s letter of recommendation stated.

The age of the current 26-year-old stage created increasing repair needs to keep the unit operational. For instance, the hydraulic system that levels the stage, and opens and closes the roof, has been rebuilt twice in the past five years with a cost of $2,000 per rebuild.

Also, the roof shell closure no longer aligns with locking mechanisms due to age-related wear and tear.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

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Ed Wright

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