New Construction

Missouri State University Breaks Ground on Amphitheater, Arts Park

Missouri State University broke ground recently on a new, $6.4-million amphitheater and arts park. The open-air John Goodman Amphitheatre, named after the St. Louis alum and famous comedian, will feature a permanent stage and 350 removeable seats. Slated to be built in a campus plaza adjacent to Craig Hall, the outdoor space will transform into the Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park.

“This new arts park and permanent amphitheater are much-welcome additions to our historic Tent Theatre,” said Missouri State President Clif Smart of the longtime campus theater company. “Our campus and larger community will have a vibrant and comfortable space to enjoy not only Tent Theatre and other productions, but also many special events for years to come.”

The structure will have a tension membrane roof and cover 7,700 square feet. Construction is scheduled to finish in 2022. The project also involves renovations to the landscaping and hardscape surrounding the area.

John Goodman himself serves as a campaign chair for the project. He’s an MSU and Tent Theater alumnus who happily reflected on his college days. “The nights in Springfield, in the summer doing Tent Theatre, for me are unmatched anywhere else on Earth,” he said in a campaign letter. Fundraising for the project is still in progress, although $3 million has come through private gifts.

“This infrastructure that started as B Blackwood’s dream will evolve into a real structural centerpiece designed to serve everyone,” said Dean of the Judith Enyeart Reynolds College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Shawn Wahl. “This structure and surrounding arts park will help support student learning across all academic programs.”

Patterhn Ives is the design architect and architect of record on the project. The contractor is Carson-Mitchell, Inc., based in Springfield, Mo.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].