City Moving Forward with Aaron Bessant Park Improvements [Amphitheater]

Looks like the improvements we were discussing for Aaron Bessant Park are, indeed, coming.  Last week in a city council meeting, an “inter-local” agreement with Bay County was agreed upon to allow the City of Panama City Beach to take the lead on planning and development of this project.  Although two of the council members were adamantly opposed to the improvements, there was still an affirmative majority vote – 3 to 2.

All the improvements could include:

  • 60′x40′ amphitheater with permanent roof and walls suitable for theatrical productions, orchestral performances and musical events
  • Expanded amphitheater lawn area (see diagram below
  • Vegetative buffers around the parameter to prevent the need for temporary fencing
  • The Festival Lawn (the sandy area that’s used as overflow and vedor parking behind the park) will be improved to the quality of Frank Brown Park’s festival area
  • This area will support parking, play fields, and will have sod and irrigation
  • Additional bathroom facilities

At this point, the exact plans have not been decided upon.  The structure in a previous post is just a proposed idea.  The agreement that came to pass in the city council meeting just grants the City the ability to spearhead the planning of the new project.

The next step will bring plans and workshops before the final proposal and approval process.

 

New Amphitheater coming to Aaron Bessant Park

Improvements to Aaron Bessant park have been in the works for a few months.  In fact, talks of improvements have been going on for years, but money has always been a challenge.  This year, BP money in excess of $1 million, will help make park improvements a reality, and last week the Panama City Beach City Council approved the improvements.

Improvements include a new, larger amphitheater.

The new improvements will be a welcome addition to a heavily used facility.  Currently they have several large events there each year that requires spending 10’s of thousands of dollars on erected staging and equipment.  The new facility will have a large covered stage, integrated electrical and a solid infrastructure to host events with a capacity of 10,000.

All the improvements include:

  • 60’x40′ amphitheater with permanent roof and walls suitable for theatrical productions, orchestral performances and musical events
  • Expanded amphitheater lawn area (see diagram below
  • Vegetative buffers around the parameter to prevent the need for temporary fencing
  • The Festival Lawn (the sandy area that’s used as overflow and vedor parking behind the park) will be improved to the quality of Frank Brown Park’s festival area
  • This area will support parking, play fields, and will have sod and irrigation
  • Additional bathroom facilities
Renderings, conceptual and imagery

The teal boundary area is the existing sidewalk paths around the amphitheater area.  The purple lines indicate the other sidewalk areas and paths that lead around the park.  The black lines will be the new amphitheater lawn area.

This is a conceptual of what the amphitheater could look like. The final product will have a beachy feel and should be consisten with the look and feel of neighboring Pier Park.  The stage area could be approximately 60 feet across and 40 feet deep offering 2,400 square feet of space.  There will be permanent walls and roof.

This is an example of another amphitheater.  Ours could look similar.

What are your thoughts on this?  Do you think this will bring more traffic problems to this area?  Or do you think the improvements will be better for the community as a whole?