New amphitheater work underway

Before the amphitheater can come up, four unused dorms had to come down.
Photo Submitted by Catisha Joseph

Work began last week on the future site of Florida A&M University’s newest performing arts amphitheater. The amphitheater will be located off Martin Luther King Boulevard south of Lee Hall.

The demolition to make way for the amphitheater involved tearing down the four unused residence halls: Diamond, McGuinn, Copper, Wheatley, and the William Grey building.

Plans for the amphitheater were proposed last year by the Student Government Association with a price tag of $2.7 million, which includes prep work, design, construction, and furnishings, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The amphitheater is part of the “FAMU Rising” strategic plan to enhance the student experience and customer service while committing to accommodate and modernize the social, experiential learning and accessibility needs of the student body. 

“During my administration as SGA President I was proud to approve this unique space that will meet the many requests of the student body to not only create additional parking in central parts of campus but to also expand the spaces students have to gather, entertain and participate in co-curricular activities,” said former SGA President Devin Harrison.

“Our students deserve state of the art, modern facilities to enjoy their college experience and this project, fittingly focused around the theme ‘Expression, Creativity, Imagination and Inspiration,’ will contribute to that,” said Harrison.

The amphitheater will be comprised of a stage with a radius of 22 feet, additional parking for students, ample seating, wheelchair access, and green area. Students will be able to host meetings, performances, rehearsals, key events, food trucks, outdoor markets, and festivals at the amphitheater according to the unveiling document provided by FAMU.

FAMU’s newest project will also add to the university’s market day Set Friday, an ongoing student tradition at the school.

“As a member of a dance troupe on campus, I’m actually excited about the amphitheater because it will allow us to have a reliable practice area, instead of trying to discover new places to practice each semester,” said Amoni Perryman, a junior accounting major at FAMU.

While some students look forward to the project, others have strong objections to it. Briana Coulton, a sophomore business administration student at FAMU, isn’t excited about the amphitheater at all.

“I feel as if the new amphitheater is unnecessary and the funding should have been put to something else such as dorm renovations or additional general parking,” said Coulton.

The $2.7 million project is set to be ready for the 2019-2020 academic school year.