WARREN -- City council has given the green light for building a stage house at the Warren Community Amphitheatre.
The improvements should be ready for next year's events there.
Council in May approved an ordinance allowing an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the funding and building of the Warren Community Amphitheatre Riverwalk Stage House.
Wednesday, council authorized the mayor and service director to seek bids for the construction.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, secured $500,000 for the project, working in conjunction with Mayor Michael O'Brien and a committee that included representatives of the Trumbull 100 civic organization and the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County.
There will be a roof added to the amphitheater, which now uses temporary, rented roofing for events. It won't be a closed roof structure on the back end; people will still be able to look through the amphitheater and see the Mahoning River. The back of the amphitheater will be closed off by an outdoor stage curtain as needed.
Also planned are improved drainage, dressing rooms and restrooms for performers, and a stairway on the right side of the amphitheater to improve access.
The amphitheater is part of the Riverwalk project, which links the Mahoning Avenue historical district with Courthouse Square and downtown. ODOT money was made available because the bike trail planned along the river is part of the transportation system.
Construction is slated to begin at the end of the summer.