Work resumes on stage at Covered Bridge Park

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, April 15, 2015

NW0414 Covered Bridge Stage Work

Work has resumed on the Covered Bridge Park Stage with the goal of having the structure completed by the first of May.

The stage was completed last summer, but in September, the Elizabethton Historic Zoning Commission, which must issue final approval before it can be opened to the public, ruled the roof on the stage had to be changed from a single-pitch roof to a dual-pitch roof to better match the design of the Covered Bridge and the gazebo in the park.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We are working to redo the roof to follow the change required by the Historic Zoning Commission,” he said. “It will be a gabled roof versus the slant roof that was on it. It will blend more with the rest of the surrounding structures.”

Once the stage is complete, it is expected to cost around $10,000, Elizabethton Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman said.

After waiting out the winter weather, the roof replacement work has begun. Labor for the city project is being provided by the Roan Mountain Work Camp of Northeast Correctional Complex, but the exact date of completion depends on how often the work crew is free to work on the project, Hartman said.

“It does depend on how often we get them here over the next few weeks,” he said. “We are hoping to have the stage completed before the concert.”

The concert Hartman referred to is the first event scheduled for the stage — the Elizabethton High School’s Jazz Band Spring Concert, set for May 5 at 7 p.m.

“This stage will add a new venue for city events,” Hartman said. “This concert is just one of the types of events that could be held at the stage. We will be able to offer many special events and it will be attractive to various groups.”

After the stage is completed, it will be placed under the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department’s control. The department already has a series of concerts, called the Covered Bridge Jams, planned from June to September, Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains said.

Also, the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce will be using the stage during the annual Covered Bridge Celebration instead of constructing a temporary stage at the Monument.

“The main thing is this will be a facility our community can use,” Mains said. “We hope to have an area that offers entertainment from time to time. Offering music and entertainment is something the citizens will really enjoy.”

When planning events, the department would be considerate of the neighbors and have activities end at 9:30 p.m. at the latest, Mains said.

Once the roof is completed, the city will focus on completing the design elements of the plan. The foundation of the stage will be covered in faux rock to match the river rock along the banks of the river, Hartman said. The bridge will stained or painted a dark brown with white siding installed on the exterior to reference the Covered Bridge.

“We will do that as time and finances allow,” Hartman said.