Latest phase of PacAmp renovation gets preliminary OK

The Orange County Fair Board gave preliminary approval Monday for the next round of renovation work at the Pacific Amphitheatre that includes constructing a second entrance plaza for the concert venue.

Rialto-based R.C. Construction Services was chosen for the second-phase of the multimillion-dollar renovation project, which is scheduled to begin at the conclusion of the OC Fair in August.

Fairgrounds officials said the adjusted estimated cost to upgrade the venue is now $15.7 million — up from the previously approved $13.8 million estimate — and will include two more restrooms and other additions.

Escalating construction costs also contributed to the higher estimate, officials said.

The first renovation phase cost $2.7 million for the excavation earlier this year of the PacAmp's outer berm. That project reduced the total number of people allowed at the venue and gave the fairgrounds 3 acres for its use.

The land will be re-purposed into a more park-like setting that includes the second entrance plaza.

Earlier renderings of the plaza had a waterfall feature, though it since has been taken out of the design, according to Gary Hardesty, the fairgrounds' chief technology and production officer.

Fairgrounds officials have said that the renovations will make everything more intimate and better connect the PacAmp to the summer fair.

The higher PacAmp renovation estimate does not include the cost of relocating the Memorial Gardens Building, which the Fair Board agreed Monday should be moved to elsewhere on the 150-acre property in Costa Mesa instead of being demolished.

—Bradley Zint

Twitter: @bradleyzint

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