The city of New Albany is donating $1 million to fund a planned community amphitheater, said City Manager Joseph Stefanov.

The facility will be designed to meet a $5.41 million budget, according to Craig Mohre, president of the New Albany Community Foundation.

That is the amount of money that has been raised to date by the community foundation.

The amphitheater will be built on land owned by the New Albany-Plain Local School District and leased to the city. The lease, signed in August for $10, has a 50-year term, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.

The facility's location is adjacent to the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts at 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road. The architecture firm for the amphitheater is DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky, which revealed the first design renderings to the city's architectural-review board in August.

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts will manage programming at the amphitheater; CAPA has been involved in the management of the McCoy Center since 2013.

Planning and fundraising for the amphitheater started in 2016. In recognition of the Hinson family's early $500,000 donation toward the project, the venue will be named the Charleen & Charles Hinson Amphitheater, according to Mohre.

New Albany City Council on Nov. 5 approved the city's $1 million donation for the amphitheater, along with an agreement with the New Albany Community Foundation and New Albany Community Authority.

Under the agreement, the community foundation is responsible for fundraising for the project, and the community authority is responsible for construction, according to a council legislative report.

The city will own the facility and is responsible for operation and maintenance, according to the report.

Construction for the facility is expected to begin in spring 2020 and conclude a year later, Mohre said. The facility's first season would be in summer 2021.

Although the project was estimated to cost up to $7 million, it will be designed to meet a $5.41 million budget, Mohre said.

"We're going to build what we have the money to build," he said.

Council members voted 6-1 in favor of the Nov. 5 resolution for the project. Council member Mike Durik voted against it.

Durik said he voted against the measure because committing $1 million in city funding to the project before the pricing and design of the project is finalized would be inappropriate.

Going from a $7 million budget to a $5 million budget is a substantial change, he said.

According to the legislative report, the community foundation also secured a $1 million loan for the project.

Both the loan and the $1 million from the city are included in the $5.41 million budget, Mohre said.

An additional $500,000 could be donated to the project from a family who wants naming rights to a portion of the nearby Rose Run Park, Mohre said. The park is across Dublin-Granville Road from the amphitheater site and has been part of the city's efforts to revitalize the Rose Run stream corridor.

The city would have to approve the naming, Mohre said.

In addition, Plain Township committed $250,000 to the amphitheater to be paid over five years, Mohre said. However, this money is not included in the $5.41 million budget, he said.

According to the legislative report, site preparation and construction of underground infrastructure are expected to begin this winter.

McAfee said a $1 million state grant the city received that is part of the $5.41 million budget would expire if construction does not commence by the end of the year.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah