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Three location options within Rusch Park being considered for amphitheater

A Google Maps satellite view shows the west end of Rusch Park, where an amphitheater is proposed to be built.

By Sara Beth Williams–
A virtual meeting was held by the Sunrise Recreation and Park District on Thursday evening to discuss potential locations for a new performance venue that is being proposed by the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band.

Meredith Branstad with HELIX Environmental Planning hosted the meeting. HELIX was contracted by the parks district board to conduct a feasibility study for the viability of constructing a performance venue intended for concerts and other outdoor events. Park District Interim District Administrator Wayne Edmundson and the band’s executive director, Bill Cook, were also in attendance.

The proposed amphitheater would be built in honor of Cook’s wife and will be called the Kathy Cook Amphitheater, according to the band’s website and donation page. Based on designs presented during the meeting, the structure would measure 65 feet long and 18 feet high, and would have a metal roof, and bricks along the back and around the sides.

Branstad presented three different potential location options for the project, all of them within the west end of Rusch Park, because much of the open land in the east end of the park exists within a 100-year flood plain. According to city ordinances, no permanent structures are permitted to be constructed on a 100-year flood plain. A second concern, Branstad noted, were mature oak tree groves, which are also protected by city ordinances.

Option 1

The first option presented would situate the amphitheater along the northwest corner of baseball diamonds one and two, on the west side of Rusch Park, closest to the Rush Drive parking lot. The venue would be approximately 375 feet from the nearest residence and the relatively flat ground would allow for an estimated audience of 200 people, but the amount of people would be constrained by the proximity of the parking lot and other walking pathways.

The second location presented would be directly adjacent to the Rusch Drive parking lot, located 135 feet from the nearest residence to the west and 335 feet from the nearest residence to the north. There would be potential for extended audience space into the Lion’s Grove picnic area.

The third option would be located in the northwest corner of the Lion’s Grove picnic area, and sound would be directed into the park itself. This potential location would also be located 130 feet from the nearest residence to the west, and 80 feet from the nearest residence to the north.

All three locations would allow for access to the Historic Rusch Home for staging purposes for potential performers. An existing restroom facility and the Lion’s Grove playground are nearby all three proposed locations.

When asked about the potential for renovation of the current restroom facility and nearest parking lot, Edmundson said that both HELIX and the park district are still “determining the viability of the whole project” and that all ideas for renovations were “currently on the table.” According to Cook, the Rusch Drive parking lot will be resurfaced as part of the overall project.

HELIX presented a poll of five options for those in attendance, which showed 69 percent of participants voted for the first potential location option, 15 percent voted for option two, and three percent voted for option three. Four percent of participants voted to find another location altogether, and eight percent of voters said they did not want an amphitheater at Rusch Park.

However, a handful of attendees arrived late after the poll commenced, and still a handful of others were not able to vote in the short time frame allowed. Many participants voiced their choices informally without voting in the poll.

Reaction from those in attendance was minimal but one participant did state that they were “excited” for the project.

Branstad explained that once a feasibility study is completed, the results will be presented to the Sunrise Recreation and Park District board and reviewed at an upcoming monthly board meeting. Board meetings are open to the public, and occur on the third Thursday of the month, according to the park district’s website.

Branstad invited any residents who have additional comments or concerns to contact Edmundson directly with feedback. Contact information posted on the district’s website is shown as: and (916) 725-1585.

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