The new brick structure, which stands on the northeast side of Carlisle City Park, soon will be the focal point for upcoming events and concerts.

After a three-year process, construction of an open amphitheater is under way in the city park. Mayor Ray Glover said the stage would be 35 feet wide and 20 feet deep. He said it would also have a 5-foot handicap-accessible ramp on the back as well as step access from the side.

“It can be used for all types of celebrations,” Glover said. “It is open for anyone to use.”

Glover said events using the stage already are being scheduled. He said Carlisle Day Celebration on July 7 would be the first event in the park to utilize the stage. Glover said organizers of other events such as the Mothers for Education Back to School Bash and Alumni Weekend also plan to use the stage.

There will be no charge for the use of the stage, according to Glover. He said everything in the park may be used free of charge with the exception of the old gymnasium. Glover said those who would like use the stage should bring some type of backdrop because the stage will be open on the back side.

To date, footers for the stage and bricks sides have been erected. Glover said the next phase of the project would be fill dirt and pouring of the concrete slab. A metal roof will shelter the stage from the sun and other weather elements. The amphitheater will be wired for outdoor speakers, microphones and electrical outlets. Glover said only nightlights would illuminate the stage initially during the evening hours because no lights, speakers or other equipment has been purchased. He said the city plans to add more to the stage as funds come available.

“It’s really going to be a good addition to our park,” Glover said. “I really hope everyone will enjoy it.”

Glover said the stage would eliminate the need for the flatbed trailer converted into a portable stage to be hauled to the park during large events as in former years.

The city received a $15,000 matching grant for the stage and state Rep. Walls McCrary gave $5,000 of appropriated funds to go toward the matching grant. $10,000 will be the city’s share of the $30,000 stage.

According to Glover, completion date for the stage is scheduled for July 1, weather permitting. Robert’s Masonry Inc. of Lonoke has been contracted for the job.