Dayton hires firm to design new outdoor amphitheater

The city approved a $460,000 contract with Westlake Reed Leskosky of Cleveland.

The city of Dayton has selected a firm to design the Levitt Pavilion Dayton that has considerable experience devising striking and imaginative music and performing arts venues.

Dayton commissioners on Wednesday approved a $460,000 contract with Westlake Reed Leskosky to design the outdoor amphitheater planned for Dave Hall Plaza by Fourth and Main streets.

The Cleveland-based firm will produce at least three conceptual designs for the Levitt Pavilion Dayton and will assist with developing the winning choice.

Public input will be part of the process and the firm will come up with designs that make the Levitt amphitheater a unique and recognizable attraction, said April Mescher, project director of the Levitt Pavilion Dayton.

“We have confidence that we will have a very iconic structure and design,” Mescher said, referring to the other pavilions across the nation that are in the signature Levitt network.

The city of Dayton issued a request for proposals for the Levitt Pavilion Dayton to 28 firms. Proposals were due in early June.

Five consultants responded to the request, and a committee chose Westlake Reed Leskosky to design the roughly $4 million to $4.5 million amphitheater.

The venue must have open lawn seating to hold 5,000 people and cannot be smaller than two acres, according to the city’s request for proposals.

The lawn must be a “natural bowl” or have a graded slope so visitors have a good view of the stage no matter where they sit.

The project must have an open-air stage with a roof that covers at least 70 percent of it.

The project also requires a designated hospitality area for donors, elected officials, key stakeholders and sponsors of the pavilion, city documents state.

Westlake Reed Leskosky has worked on more than 50 projects across the nation, designing, redesigning or developing plans for theaters, amphitheaters, auditoriums, music halls and performing arts centers.

ExploreSome highlights include the firm’s design of a new 178,000-square-foot fine and visual arts facility for Cleveland State University, the renovation of the Gartner Auditorium in the Cleveland Museum of Art and the development of a master plan for Cleveland’s Playhouse Square district.

Dave Hall Plaza is an urban park and cherished space, and the designs will reflect the need to be an entertainment venue and community park, said Mark Kline, principal and landscape architect with MKSK, a Columbus firm that is a partner on the project.

“You have to give people spaces and places to be,” he said.

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