Groundbreaking ceremony for the amphitheater | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo Submitted Attending a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of the Citizens Bank of WV Amphitheater at Davis & Elkins College are, left to right, Derrick Pritt, Applied Construction Solutions Project Manager; ACS Human Resources Generalist and Queen Silvia LXXX Kara Alvarez; Scott Goddard, Davis & Elkins College Vice President for Institutional Advancement; Chris A. Wood, president of Davis & Elkins College; President and CEO of Citizens Bank of West Virginia and D&E Director Nathaniel S. Bonnell; Randolph County Commissioner Chris Siler; Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco and Elkins City Clerk Jessica Sutton.

ELKINS – Davis & Elkins College and Randolph County community leaders are coming together to breathe new life into the college’s outdoor amphitheater and expand the structure’s uses.

Work will soon begin on what will be named the Citizens Bank of West Virginia Amphitheater at D&E, with hopes of completion in September.

The newly designed amphitheater will feature a roof to allow for performances in inclement weather and lighting for nighttime events.

Additionally, the structure will have capabilities for a variety of production equipment. The existing concrete platform and steps will be upgraded.

The facility has served the college and community for decades as the stage for the crowning Mountain State Forest Festival Queen Silvia as well as a venue for concerts, performances, and celebrations.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in early July with officials from the college, Citizens Bank of West Virginia, the City of Elkins, Randolph County Commission, and Applied Construction Solutions, Inc.

“The dedication of a new amphitheater is further proof of Davis & Elkins College’s commitment to serving the Randolph County community,” said D&E President Chris A. Wood. “This stage will be the gathering place for the greater community for the coronation of Queen Silvia at the Mountain State Forest Festival, concerts, fireworks, theater productions and recitals among many others.

“The generosity of Citizens Bank of West Virginia, in addition to the support of the City of Elkins and the Randolph County Commission, allows this new structure to serve us all for many years to come. We are also grateful to Applied Construction Solutions of Bridgeport for their contribution to the work within the established budget.

The Citizens Bank of West Virginia offered core funding for the project, knowing that the community as a whole would benefit from large-scale activities, entertainment, and various other productions that could take place in the new amphitheater.

“We are excited to invest in the college and a permanent outdoor performance venue that will serve and enliven both D&E and the wider community,” said Nathaniel S. Bonnell, President and CEO of Citizens Bank. “We applaud the entrepreneurs’ determination to have the Citizens Bank of WV Amphitheater ready to crown Queen Silvia LXXXIV during the 2022 Mountain State Forest Festival. This new venue will provide a better experience for performers and organizations using the stage as well as to the audience.

Earlier this year, the Elkins City Council agreed to allocate $43,746 and the Randolph County Commission voted to contribute $50,000, both from their American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“The city appreciates our close relationship with Davis & Elkins College and views the investment of ARPA funds in the renovation of the amphitheater as an investment in our community as a whole,” Elkins City Clerk Jessica Sutton said. “We look forward to seeing the renewal of this space and many more positive partnerships with D&E in the future.”

“We are happy to have been able to help create a new amphitheater for the Forest Festival and the community.” said Randolph County Commissioner Chris Siler.

Applied Construction Solutions has agreed to perform the work within budget of nearly $275,000 as a community partner that shares unique ties with the College. Kara Alvarez, who works at her family business ACS, served as Queen Silvia LXXX when Davis & Elkins College Vice President for Institutional Advancement Scott Goddard was chief executive in 2016.

“It’s a great asset to the Elkins community, the Forest Festival and D&E, and we’re thrilled to make it happen,” said Alvarez.

As a resident of Randolph County, ACS Project Manager Derrick Pritt is eager to see the project take shape.

“Many of our employees live in the area and it makes it all the more exciting to help the community and visitors by bringing the amphitheater back to life,” said Pritt.

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