COLUMBIA — The site for the new amphitheater at Stephens Lake Park is pretty muddy, but plans for construction are moving along on schedule.
The Parks and Recreation Department sent details about the project to the City Council in a report, which parks department employee Mike Griggs said Mondayincludes the most up-to-date information.
The plans for the amphitheater include an elevated concrete stage and a series of buried conduits, which can be used for future sound and lighting installations, according to the report submitted to the City Council.
The facility is also to offer greater sidewalk accessibility, which may include safety lighting. Griggs said the parks department is looking at lighting options but that he doesn't anticipate a lot of after-dark shows. Griggs said the amphitheater, at the moment, is being envisioned as a summer, daylight stage but that it may be necessary to look at lighting options in the future.
While the parks department worked with its own landscape architect for most of the design, it does not have a staff engineer, whose assistance is needed when applying for permits from the city, Griggs said. The department employed Columbia engineer Fred Malicoat to approve the electrical drawings.
Griggs said there is a big demand for the new amphitheater.
"Right now, we have so many people who want to have concerts in the park, and we don't really have a venue for that," Griggs said.
He said the amphitheater is being designed for future expansion to account for its expected popularity. The structure could become a new venue for theater groups, which might move to the amphitheater once it is completed, he said.
Griggs said he doesn't foresee many changes being made to the original plan during the project's construction. He said he expects only minor changes to occur.
The amphitheater was one of the projects selected in the first phase of the Stephens Lake Park Development, Griggs said. The city is providing $45,250 for the project. A part of that will be supported by a $20,250 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant the city received in 2008. Griggs said the budget is still adequate for the project.