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New Ampitheater seating won’t be ready for opening

June 1, 2017
By JIMMY MCCARTHY - , Westfield Republican

CHAUTAUQUA - The $41.5 million amphitheater project at Chautauqua Institution is progressing.

However, not all seating will permanently be installed in time for the first program at the Amp or the start to Chautauqua Institution's season.

That's according to President Michael E. Hill, who said this week that the custom-crafted wooden benches will be installed in phases. With the structure up, Hill said the final elements going into the amphitheater include the familiar yellow wood benches. Hill said representatives from LPCiminelli, the construction manager, and Chautauqua Institution flew out to Nebraska where the benches are being produced.

"They determined that custom-built benches will ultimately be installed in the Amp, however, this will occur in phases and be supplemented by acceptable temporary benches to achieve the full capacity of the Amp by June 24," he said. "Among the temporary benches may be some of the former Amp benches."

The Jamestown High School Commencement Ceremony, which is set for June 22, will be the first program at the Amp. The season opens with the sold out Aretha Franklin concert on June 24 and the installation of President Hill on June 25.

With the final phase of the amphitheater project nearing, Hill said Chautauqua Institution will begin to provide weekly updates on the remaining parts of the project including the status of bench seating. Hill said the project is within budget and on schedule for opening season.

"We ask for our community's support of the many people, including members of our board of trustees, Institution staff and leaders and LPC, who are working tirelessly to complete this monumental project," Hill said. "Their efforts reflect the excellence and distinction for which Chautauqua Institution is known and celebrated."



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