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Work continues at Rock Creek Park
Amphitheater installation under way
Roberto Munoz-Silva, left, and Jorge Ruiz mark the base of a block wall being constructed as part of a new amphitheater being built along a trail at the Rock Creek Greenway, located just behind Rock Creek Park.

Area residents and visitors soon will be able to travel along a trail from Rock Creek Park to Ivey Terrace Park and even stop to take in a little music along the way.

On Wednesday, crews began installing the walls to a new amphitheater along the Rock Creek Greenway.

Upon completion, the greenway will connect will trails along Lake Lanier at Longwood Park, the Wilshire Trails system, Ivey Terrace Park and Rock Creek Park in downtown Gainesville at the corner of Academy Street and Northside Drive.

"A specific function hasn’t been set yet for the amphitheater," said Julie Butler, marketing coordinator for the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department. "But we envision that there will be a variety of events from educational programs, to art events and even small concerts. It’s going to be a very nice outdoor venue."

The trail itself has already been completed and once the theater is done, the final phase of the project will be landscaping the greenway.

"This is a project that has happened because of the strong partnership between the city, the parks and recreation department and the Friends of the Park," Butler said. "Friends of the Park have been very instrumental in the sidewalks that connect the park."

Besides helping to make the city itself more pedestrian friendly, another goal of the project is to help prevent further erosion of the banks of Rock Creek.

Several funding sources have been used for the greenway. In addition to local contributions, more than $1 million in federal transportation enhancement funds have been used to cover project expenses.

City officials say that the project is running on schedule and should be completed this summer, when a dedication ceremony will be planned.