City unveils proposed amphitheater plan at Fort Mellon Park

Construction is expected to begin later this summer on a multi-purpose performance venue at Fort Mellon Park.

City Commissioners reviewed plans recently for a covered stage, which city staff is calling an amphitheater, in the open, grassy area of the park. The venu would be used for large events like concerts, and incorpoated into activities already ocurring at the park like festivals, 5K, races and community rallies.

The $1.4 million project is Phase 2 of the park’s master plan, and will be funded in part by a $750,000 state grant. City staff will know in June if a second grant worth $500,000 is awarded to the project. Regardless, the balance of the project will be paid for with recreational impact fees.

Chris Smith, a project planner with the city, said construction could begin in late July and would last for about 10 months. The plan is to have the structure completed in time for the 2017 July 4 celebration.

Smith cautioned, however, that accurate timelines won’t be possible until a construction bid is awarded, possibly in June.

The Sanford bandshell, built in 1927, at the end of Veterans Memorial Park.
The Sanford bandshell, built in 1927, at the end of Veterans Memorial Park.

In the master plan for Fort Mellon Park, the amphitheater was originally conceived to be a traditional bandshell, similar to the one that sat at the end of Veterans Memorial Park 60 years ago.

However, staff and commissioners opted for an open design that allows views of the park and Lake Monroe from 1st Street.

The stage is just shy of 1,100 square feet in size. It will sit 3 feet above the current grade of the park. The roof will stand about 17 feet above the stage and will mimic the roof design of the park’s existing picnic pavilions.

The stage will be located about 50 feet off 1st Street facing Lake Monroe in the large grassy area, which will be known as the “Great Lawn.”

A fountain and landscaped area will sit between 1st Street and the amphitheater to serve as an entrance featured. A 6-foot tall wall between the fountain and stage is currently shown in renderings; however city commissioners requested the wall be removed to give the structure a more open feel.

The structure will have some basic permanent lighting for evening events and will be capable of supporting profeesional lighting and sound rigs for concerts and other performances.

All renderings and drawings by HHCP, Orlando.

Click renderings to enlarge

Fort Mellon Park 1 cropped

Fort Mellon Park 7Fort Mellon Park 4Fort Mellon Park 9Fort Mellon Park 8Fort Mellon Park 3Fort Mellon Park 2




  1. Looks very nice and appropriate. I would question the acoustics with so little “back wall” Especially on a breezy day.


  2. Love Sanford and anything that causes more visitors to explore the shops, museum and the beautiful waterfront.


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