Jacksonville, FL - WOKV first told you Monday that Jacksonville’s Mayor will recommend removing the stage overhang at Met Park. Now, we’re getting an idea of how much that will cost.
A Department of Public Works memo details four options studied by the City as potential action plans for Met Park- removing the stage overhang, demolishing the entire stage area, repairing the tent, and replacing the structure. The cheapest option- tearing down just the overhang- is $200,000.
The memo obtained by WOKV is based off several site surveys, including one done after the stage was restricted from public access in November because of concerns about the overhang. It notes that, while they do not expect “an immediate danger” based on the current status, the structure is “compromised” and “subject to future conditions”. That means the longer it’s exposed to wind and other variables, there could be new safety concerns that arise, according to the memo.
There has been no bill filed at this time dealing specifically with the recommendation to remove the overhang, although the Mayor’s Office says that should be worked up soon. The City Council has been introduced a bill that would reimburse organizers of “The Big Ticket” about $96,000 for having to construct a temporary stage for their event, which happened shortly after the Pavilion was restricted from the public.
GALLERY: Met Park inspection photos
Removing just the tent overhang would remove an existing safety hazard, restore available space to Metro Park, and allow potential use of the existing stage, according to the memo. Despite that, the Mayor’s Office tells WOKV the stage would remain restricted from the public, even if this plan is approved. They had no immediate reason why it would not re-open.
The next cheapest option, at $250,000, is demolishing the Pavilion, which includes the stage. The vision here is returning the area to a “green space” by re-sodding.
Repairing the overhang would cost an estimated $1,887,250, under the projections in the memo. There was limited inspection done on what materials could actually be reused, although most of the main components were ruled out with a prior inspection showing problems with corrosion and deterioration. The benefits listed in the memo include not just restoring to original operations but being able to again bring in revenue. It would not, however, address some of the existing concerns like the noise issues the City has continually addressed, specifically relating to sound carrying over the River to the Southbank.
Finally, and most costly, replacing the structure entirely was explored. Unlike repairing, fully replacing the facility would allow the City to address concerns like noise and the current limitations of the design. Those benefits are matched up against cost, however, which is projected at $7,920,000.
The City recently agreed to split the bill with the Jaguars for a new amphitheater and flex field, as well as renovations to the Club Levels at EverBank Field, right across the street from where the Pavilion is right now. While some in the City are looking at the new amphitheater as a potential replacement to Met Park, the capacity is much smaller. Some larger events have continued to book at Metro Park, including the upcoming “Welcome to Rockville”, but build temporary staging to make the venue work.