WAITE PARK -- Work on the Waite Park Amphitheater is finally underway.

The city held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday at the site located south of Luther Honda on Highway 23.

Mayor Rick Miller says there were a lot of hands at work in this project.

For three years we begged at the state legislature for our bonding bill and we got it this year. We saw about five to six amphitheaters in a five state area. We spent a lot of time on it and hopefully it will be the best.

The city will be transforming an old quarry, that was primarily owned by Martin Marrieta, into a roughly 5,000 seat outdoor amphitheater.

The site will include ticket and concession stands, walking trails around the quarry, and about 1,200 parking spaces.

Miller says tree removal has already begun and they hope to be able to see the stage by next summer.

I'm hoping next year at this time it looks like it's almost done. You won't get a lot of time after August to finish things. We will probably have a dry run with some local acts to make sure we get all the bugs out of it.

The amphitheater is expected host 15 to 20 national acts every year.  The total cost for the project is expected between $10 million and $12 million, with $5 million coming from state bonding money.

Miller believes the entertainment site will be a big draw to the community and the region.

The project has been three years worth of planning. If all goes well, the city hopes to hold their first concert in the summer of 2020.

Amphitheater Groundbreaking