WESTPORT, Conn. – After working for eight months and spending nearly $7 million to fully renovate Westport’s Levitt Pavilion For The Performing Arts, officials say they are right on track to open for the summer season in mid-July.
The Friends of the Levitt Pavilion and the town of Westport broke ground on the new pavilion last October and moved quickly through the process of construction.
“We’re on task to get open on time,” said a spokesman for the Friends, although the concert lineup for the opening concert is being kept under wraps until construction is complete.
The is the first full renovation of the pavilion since it was first built, and the changes to the lawn and the surrounding area are significant, the Friends say.
One of the first things visitors will notice is the new Hospitality Center, where the concession stand and box office will be. When concert attendees get to the lawn, they might notice it is no longer tiered but sloped with fewer potholes in the grass.
During regular nonticketed concerts, there will be room for 1,700 people in picnic-style layout. During seated ticketed events, 2,400 people will be able to sit down.
A perk of losing the tiers on the lawn is that the higher slope of the lawn provides more sound absorption, giving the surrounding area more of a barrier between them and the concerts.
The lawn and seating areas weren’t the only areas to be renovated. The stage was almost completely torn down to make way for a more state-of-the-art structure, with backstage areas for performers and a more high-tech sound system.
The stage, the Friends hope, will become an “instantly recognizable landmark” for Westport with its metal structure and cover that mimics the sails of the Sydney Opera House. The structure can withstand winds of over 400 mph. But the tensile – a fiberglass-coated Teflon canopy – can be taken down if necessary.
As part of receiving $1.1 million in town funds, the group was required renovate the riverwalk area around the pavilion. The work is complete, and they believe it adds to the ambiance of the pavilion.
All that is left to do, the spokesman said, is to finish the stage, backstage areas and the hospitality center. That work is set to be complete within the next month.
Some of the summer schedule has been published on its website and includes singer-songwriter Declan O’Rouke and samba band Casuarina.