Construction has started on a permanent stage in Midtown Crossing's Turner Park and is scheduled to wrap up just in time for the annual Jazz on the Green concert series.
The 44-by-24-foot canvas-topped pavilion will be situated on the east side of the park, in the same spot that the Jazz on the Green temporary stage has been set up in the past, said Molly Skold, vice president of marketing and communications for East Campus Realty LLC, the Mutual of Omaha subsidiary that owns Midtown Crossing. The canvas top will be adjustable and will allow for light and video projection, she said, and the the stage itself can be temporarily expanded to 54-by-48 feet. The pavilion also will include a concrete area for dancing.
"This is not a second-rate structure," Skold said. "This is iconic, it is fantastic, it is beautiful."
Skold declined to comment on the cost of the project. Construction is funded through private donations through the Omaha Community Foundation, according to a press release.
Skold said construction of a permanent stage made sense for several reasons. The first one, she said, was cost.
"When we looked at how much money was spent on staging, it was an astronomical amount in terms of the setup, the teardown, the setup, the teardown throughout the whole summer," she said.
Secondly, she said, the new pavilion will allow the park to be used in more ways. The pavilion could be the setting for weddings, dance recitals, new concert series, outdoor exercise classes and more, she said.
Skold said the organization was "casting our net wider and thinking about all the ways that we can utilize this."