Missouri State University (MSU) in the US has started construction on a new amphitheatre and Arts park in the new Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park.

The open-air John Goodman Amphitheatre will have a tension membrane roof, permanent stage and tiers for 350 removable seats.

It will be a 7,700ft² steel structure and is planned to be constructed in the plaza next to Craig Hall, transforming the outdoor area into the Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park.

Set for completion next year, the new theatre and Arts park will serve as home to Missouri State University’s Tent Theatre and other local productions and is expected to involve a cost of nearly $6.4m.

Missouri State University president Clif Smart said: “This new Arts park and permanent amphitheatre are very welcome additions to our historic Tent Theatre.

“Our campus and the 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.”

As part of the project, improvements will also be made to the landscape and hardscape that surround the structure.

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

Tent Theatre will hold performances for its 59th season in Coger Theatre during this year to give enough time and space for the construction project.