Saratoga County

SPAC, state may re-examine ‘stack of pancakes’ design

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the state parks office may take a second look at the design

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the state parks office may take a second look at the design for a $2.5 million renovation to the amphitheater after some people wrote on a blog that they didn’t like the look of it.

In the meantime, the state is moving ahead with bidding out the lighting, sound and bathroom changes.

“It’s important that we move forward with the infrastructure phase,” said Marcia White, SPAC president. “We are looking at refining the design.”

The renovation is scheduled to begin in October after the summer season ends and be finished by May before the new season. That timeline hasn’t officially changed, White said.

She said there’s still time to change the design if they decide to do so. The renovation was designed by Saratoga Associates to be a “green” building that would use recycled paper on the facade and fiber-optic lights that would reduce light pollution but brighten the walkways for SPAC patrons.

“We’re looking at some input and we’re saying, ‘Are there some changes that we can make?’ It’s a balance of trying to retain the feeling of the past but trying to move forward into the future,” White said.

After SPAC officials, park officials and state Sen. Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, joined to reveal the plans last month, the photo was posted on at least one local blog and people poked fun at it, describing it as looking like a stack of pancakes.

SPAC got no negative feedback on the design directly, White said. Still, she said, “It’s important to review the concerns and take some time to refine the design. It’s a process that a lot of design organizations go through.”

Robert Bristol, chief executive officer of Saratoga Associates, said Thursday that the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which is footing the bill for the renovation, hasn’t asked him to redesign the building.

The state has put $7 million into SPAC’s facilities in the past three years, and the latest phase of that project called for replacement of the 43-year-old wooden siding that is deteriorating on the outside of the amphitheater, new lights, a new sound system and improvements to the public restrooms, located in a separate building.

Earlier phases installed new padded seats in the amphitheater, built a new roof and improved the backstage for performers.

Categories: Schenectady County

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