Tourism Commission settles on Town Center stage, approves Levi Jackson renovations 

Photo by Dillan Combs

David Zawko (left) and Derek Philips (right) of Deco Architects present schematics for the stage set to go up as part of ongoing construction on the Town Center. 

Monday afternoon saw a special-held meeting of the London Tourism and Convention Commission. The commission discussed plans for the stage to be installed in the London Town Center -- currently being constructed between East Ninth and East Maple streets next to London Elementary School. Commission members also looked toward funding renovations to various facilities in Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park.

"We tried to find a point where the stage looks good in the park while also doing what London wants to do with it," said David Zawko, design director of Deco Architects -- the architectural firm planning the stage structure. He and Derek Philips, president of the same company, returned to follow up on a meeting from earlier this month.

The Town Center's stage is planned to host musical acts and drama performances for numerous events. Zawko stated that schematics for the stage have changed since the last meeting. Originally the structure, from stage to roof, was 16 feet tall. Now schematics plan the stage to be 20 feet tall and 37 feet wide.

Another addition is paneling at the back end of the stage. Composed of numerous rectangular panels set onto a track, these panels can be pushed and pulled opened and closed. They can be used to display a logos or advertisement associated with the performance.

The commission decided to proceed with sending out a bid package to receive contract offers for construction on the stage. Commission member Troy House and London Tourism Commission Executive Director Chris Robinson advised Zawko and Philips to have their schematics account for removable lighting structures beneath the roof of the stage.

With removable lighting, different lighting systems can be implemented for different performances. Being able to remove lighting will also prevent birds from nesting under the stage roof.

After receiving bids to construct the Town Center stage, the London Tourism and Convention Commission will meet to accept, reject or table the offers.

Following the stage presentation, Joey Engle, director of Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park, discussed facilities within the park that need renovation. Approximately $103,000 is needed to renovate the campground, the clubhouse and the swimming pool.

"Everything from furniture to the waterpark slides is in horrible, horrible shape," Engle said. "There are some electrical issues and the restrooms have been left in bad shape." He added that the clubhouse brings in around $30,000 a year, with the swimming pool earning anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000.

The London Tourism and Convention Commission approved to put funding towards renovating Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park. Engle will continue to report progress in future commission meetings.

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