WEIRTON -City Council learned more about a project expected to take place in the coming weeks that will bring entertainment, additional traffic and business to the city.
On Friday, Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Dan Greathouse presented to council drawings and additional information regarding the proposed Cove Events Center set to be constructed in the next few months at the former Cove School site.
The structure will be an outdoor amphitheater facility that would be designed to host a plethora of events, such as a summer concert series, flea markets, rentals and more. The site is located along East Street and overlooks the Municipal Plaza.
DRAWINGS — Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Dan Greathouse presented drawings and additional information regarding the proposed Cove Events Center set to be constructed in the next few months at the former Cove School site in Weirton. The structure is expected to be similar to one located in Parkersburg and it is anticipated it will host many events, such as a summer concert series, flea markets and rentals. On hand were, from left, Mayor George Kondik, Greathouse and Ward 4 Councilman George Ash.
-- Angelina Dickson
After visiting Parkersburg, Greathouse proposed the idea for Weirton. The proposed project includes a 20-by-40-foot bandstand structure along with two more structures and another cement pad measuring 32-by-80 feet.
"The initial estimates came in at $276,000, but when we put it out to bid, the lowest bid was $600,000," he said. "But we are still hoping to get things moving forward and have at least one event there in late October or November."
City officials committed $25,000 from the city's general fund and $26,000 of Community Development Block Grant funds planned for construction of handicap accessible restrooms in addition to the $120,000 from the Hancock County Commission, $100,000 from the CVB and another $38,000 from the J.C. Williams Trust.
Greathouse said there are some groups already looking to book the area next summer once the facility is built and operational. He said admission would be free or have a minimal cost, such as $5 to $10 per space per vendor and would charge to rent the area out if a private party wanted to use it for a family reunion or wedding.
"I'd like to be able to bring the business downtown and encourage people to spend time in Weirton," said Greathouse. "Hopefully this facility will draw people and help us grow as we continue to reinvent ourselves."
Ward 1 Councilman Ronnie Jones suggested looking into whether the city could help cover some of the costs in house by pouring concrete. Officials said the water department already is assisting with the establishment of water lines to the bathroom facility.
Greathouse said additional funds would be sought through partnerships as well as through the governor's office to cover the anticipated $53,000 shortfall.
(Dickson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)