WAITE PARK -- First designs of the proposed Waite Park Amphitheater project was brought before the city council during this (Thursday) morning's work session.

The concept designs include seating capacity of 4,000 people, bathroom and concession locations, parking and public access, walking paths around the quarry, a 20-foot stage and loading area at the back of the house for the performers.

Oertel Architects President Jeff Oertel says there were several challenges during the design process based on many unknowns and trying to keep the natural beauty of the area.

"We had no idea one month ago 2,000 people were kicked around as a maximum. Now we know 4,000-5,000 people can attend this site. And the council and I agree that whatever we do with the physical structure should not impact the beauty on the site." says Oertel.

Last month, the council approved hiring Oertel Architects of St. Paul to develop a concept plan for the project.

The city is also working with Wendy Riggs, vice president of Walton Arts Center, to help with the planning process for the amphitheater. In an email to the council she says artist who perform in a 2,000 to 5,000 seat amphitheater include Alabama, The Band Perry, ZZ Top, Jonas Brothers, and REO Speedwagon.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says they are considering conducting another market study to see if Waite Park could bring in the artists Riggs mentioned.

Oertel says after hearing the feedback from the council they can begin to tie up some loose ends on the overall concept plan.

"Now we are going to firm up our overall concept plan and the council is going to have to noodle on the next step and how quickly and far they want to go," says Oertel.

Construction for the amphitheater would cost about $6-million. The proposed amphitheater site will oversee a piece of quarry land along 17th Avenue and Parkway Drive.