The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

IC City Park stage to receive upgrades to enhance viewer and actor experiences

The project will include lighting and ventilation upgrades that are estimated to cost $256,000.
Iowa+City+city+council+members+sit+during+a+city+council+meeting+in+Iowa+City+on+Tuesday%2C+June+20%2C+2023+
Tyler Downey
Iowa City city council members sit during a city council meeting in Iowa City on Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The wooden festival stage in Iowa City’s City Park will receive improvements to its ventilation and lighting upgrades to enhance the viewer and actor experience early next year.

The Iowa City City Council unanimously approved the first steps of the $256,000 construction project at its meeting on Tuesday night.

One of the major improvements will be the addition of a stairwell to access the second floor of the stage where most of the lighting equipment is, and a rail enclosing the walkway where the equipment is, Ethan Yoder, a civil engineer for the city, said.

Currently, the only way to access the second level of the stage is through a ladder, which can be somewhat dangerous and cumbersome for show crews to haul up the necessary equipment, Yoder said. 

The lighting backstage is also starting to deteriorate with age, so it will be upgraded as well. Additionally, fans and other air circulation devices would be added backstage to make it more comfortable for the actors, Yoder said.

According to Tuesday’s agenda, a construction company would be awarded the bid for the project on Jan. 2, and construction is expected be completed by spring 2024.

The city council documents state that Riverside Theater, a local theater organization, has offered to contribute $50,000 to the project and also helped the city determine what things needed improvements on the stage, Yoder said. Riverside Theater often uses the stage and puts on a yearly free showing of Shakespeare plays every summer. 

Juli Seydell Johnson, director of Parks and Recreation for Iowa City, said during the meeting that making the improvements and renovations were needed to keep the stage open.

“Nothing really exciting — these are all things that just need to be done to keep it standing and keep it operational,” Seydell Johnson said.

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About the Contributor
Isabelle Foland, News Editor
(she/her)
Isabelle Foland is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Spanish. She is a second-year news reporter at The Daily Iowan, reporting mainly on Iowa City City Council. She is from Missouri Valley, Iowa and has reported for her hometown paper prior to her time at The DI.