Raise the Roof!
Theater on the Green in Prescott Valley, Ariz.
By Joseph Bush
The town of Prescott Valley, Ariz., knows how to raise the roof.
When Prescott Valley decided to use civic development impact fees to provide cover to its well-used concrete stage on the grounds of the town's civic center campus, it elevated the area from raised slab to a performance space facing acres of lawn for spectators.
"As envisioned in the master plan for growth of the Civic Complex, the town moved forward with expansion of the stage and installation of the roof over the stage, including lighting improvements," said Prescott Valley's Projects Coordinator Kim Moon. "It has been formally named the 'Theater on the Green.'"
Moon said planned events and public recreational needs had outgrown the stage, located between city hall and the police station. The administration set out to increase the floor space as well as protect performers from the desert sun and create a structure on which to secure lights for nighttime shows. Original designer Stroh Architecture was consulted, as were the public, the arts community and what Moon calls "town visionaries."
Once they decided a roof was necessary, they looked for a roofing structure company, and didn't have to look far. Classic Recreation Structures, a shade structure manufacturer based in neighboring Dewey, was founded in the 1990s by Newell Roundy and Jack Cahill, a landscape architect and a specialist in steel manufacturing, respectively, who noticed a dearth of shade structure companies in the area.
"We discovered our best partner for stage products was right here in Prescott Valley," said Moon. "We are proud that we had this type of industry, right here."
Moon said the stage footprint was expanded to nearly double its original size, to 46 feet wide, 41 feet deep on the sides and 50 feet deep down the center of the bowed stage. Classic Recreation designed and manufactured the custom roof. She added that, based on recommendations from the town's Parks and Recreation staff, the custom roof matches the architecture of the Civic Center complex, which includes the police and library buildings.
The structure has a powder-coated tubular steel frame and designed and fabricated custom tubular steel trusses, said Roundy. The roof included a 2-inch by 6-inch tongue and groove ceiling and standing seam roof to match the existing buildings.
Danson Construction built the substantial concrete footings that are required due to the area's clay soil. ETC, a local geotechnical firm, advised on the footings, which had to be modified during construction upon discovery of underground conditions.
A crane lifted the roof columns and beams into place. Borgen Electric designed and installed custom lighting zones. Moon said the costs broke down like this: $30,000 for the architectural concept and design; $150,000 for the roof structure; $160,000 for construction of stage expansion, footings, erection of roof, and site modifications; $30,000 for lighting design and installation; and $5,000 for ETC's geotechnical consultation.
Moon said the finished product, completed in January 2015, is quite popular.
"The stage has been in high demand since the improvements were installed," she said. "Community events and entertainment have increased. I can see the stage from the window across from my office, and almost daily there is also small impromptu informal uses of the stage, anything from students practicing music or dance, to karate photos, to spinning fire batons on stilts.
"The new stage has certainly created a new space that nurtures all sorts of exciting adventures, big and small."
There was a grand opening April 11, with musical acts and a comedy act.