Although many are proud of their relatively new local concert hall, one committee is saying after three years, the venue still desperately needs several things to bring the amphitheater up to its potential, and create a safer place for students.
The Performing Arts Committee believes the Wheeling Park J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center still needs a number of things, including a long throw projector, heavy duty shelving, lighting equipment and additional microphones. The Center has been up and running for a little more than three years, and the theater has become the showcase of the Ohio County School System.
Ohio County School Board Member Tim Birch said when the structure was built, they had to leave things out of the budget because the construction was so expensive. However, this year, they had a substantial cash carry over, which Birch believes could really help pay for the essential things needed for a musical or drama production.
“These are like having a tool in your tool box. If you don’t have the right tools, you can’t do the job properly so you’re trying to maybe do it with a different tool which may not be the right one but it gets you through but I think it’s time that we start getting the right tools out there for the students, teachers and everybody to use so that they can learn how to do the things correctly and well,” Birch said.
The committee said they only have about one fifth of the lighting equipment needed right now, and productions often have to spend hundreds of dollars to rent lights for proper lighting, including for the upcoming Festival of Sound Concert.
Birch is asking that $39,000 of the cash carry-over from this year be used for the requested equipment. There is no word on when this request may be approved.