Riverfront Park Amphitheater Ground Work Starts July 6

West salem and riverfront park

Starting this summer, new amenities are being built at Riverfront Park, pictured in foreground.

​Construction is set to begin Monday, July 6, 2020, on ground work for the new Gerry Frank | Rotary Amphitheater and Stage.

Emery and Sons Construction, a Salem firm, is the general contractor on the project.

The projects are Phase 1 of improvements outlined in the Salem Riverfront Park  Master Plan that describes the addition of new amenities to the 26-acre downtown park residents describe as "Salem's Living Room."

The plan guides management and development of the urban park for the next 20 years. Development of the plan occurred over several years and included open houses and outreach efforts to get input and feedback from the community.

Park improvements

An 8-unit restroom between the North Meadow and the existing Rotary Pavilion is under way and scheduled for completion in October.

Ground work for the amphitheater will continue through October and includes:

  • Grading the ground for the amphitheater and stage,

  • 55 added parking spaces

  • A new entry plaza at the south end of the park.

The amphitheater work will be on 3.8 acres of park property acquired from Boise Cascade at the south end of Riverfront Park.  Construction of the amphitheater stage and cover by the Salem Rotary will follow in November after completion of the City's ground work project. 

A project long in the planning

"This has been a collaborative effort over the last three years to get this going," said Aaron Kimsey, City Project Manager on the project.

Originally, Salem Rotary had planned to have the facility open this summer, but issues in design and Riverfront Park master planning made that impossible.

"The end result is fantastic," Kimsey said. "We'll have a new plaza entry, a new event area, food truck hook-ups and 55 additional parking spaces. There's a huge positive to this. We've just got to get through the next three to four months."

Park Visitor Impact

Some impact at Riverfront Park is unavoidable, but efforts are being made to limit those impacts whenever possible:

  • Visitors can expect most of the south parking lot near the carousel to be open Fridays through Sundays to make room for weekend activities, but closed Monday through Thursday for construction.

  • The north parking lot will remain open and we will provide a golf cart to help shuttle people with mobility issues from the north lot to the carousel.

Estimated Costs

North Meadow Restroom: $846,690

Amphitheater Ground Work: $3.8 million

Contact us

Aaron KimseyEngineer
Phone: