The Fraze Pavilion in Kettering is gearing up for another summer concert season with seating upgrades and more space for its sound technicians. .
“The Fraze is almost 25 years old,” said Mark Schwieterman, Kettering city manager. “Like any 25-year-old investment, it’s time for a little refresh.”
New seats have also been installed at the outdoor amphitheater. New plaza seats and seats in the orchestra section will run $176,788. Everything will be in place by the time the pavilion opens on June 1.
Improvements also come to the “sound pit,” located at the center of the lawn. There, sound technicians take cues from acts on stage and have a hand in orchestrating some of the concert experience. It will be slightly enlarged, and elevated.
In the past, cables from the sound pit would run along the concrete to reach the stage. After the improvements, they’ll run along a little conduit built into the concrete. The improvement package to the sound pit costs $40,000.
Furthermore, concession areas will be upgraded. Improvements to the light tower at the venue are expected to come in time for the 2015 season.
“We’re doing our best to minimize any change,” Schwieterman said. “But our fan base will be just as well served as what they were in the past.”
No tax dollars will be used to pay for the upgrades. Money to pay for the project will come from a capital fund made up of money generated by ticket sales and seat licenses.
Plans are also in place to renovate the fountains at Lincoln Park Civic Commons outside of the Fraze.
“Honestly, it’s a very nice facility,” said resident Bob Sanders, who lives a block and a half from the Fraze. “We’ve never really had any complaints.”
Improvements may be underscored this year because of the new outdoor concert venue being built in Huber Heights. Located about a half hour from the Fraze, construction of Huber’s $18 million, 4,500-seat music center is expected to be completed by late summer.
“In the future, we may have more competition in the region in regard to the market we’re serving for the Fraze Pavilion,” Schwieterman said. “We understand with our 25 years of experience operating the Fraze what it takes to operate it successfully and we’ll continue to make decisions that are geared towards that.”