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Marion Begins Construction for its Own Amphitheater

MARION, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Marion residents will soon have their own amphitheater and city leaders broke ground on the project today to show their support.
It was day to celebrate the newest project coming to the city of Marion: the Klopfenstein amphitheater named after the former mayor.

"I think it was a natural great progression. I think we chose a great site just pleased about it,” said Victor Klopfenstein.

The original planning for this project comes from a bigger project started by the Chamber of Commerce and the focus: bringing more art to the community.

The new amphitheater will have an oak leaf-like canopy as well as a trail surrounded by sculptures.

"There's more and more emphasis I think throughout people in the community for art and appreciation of art,” Klopfenstein said.

The project comes with a 1.7 million dollar tag and now as the fundraising nears completion, construction begins.

It’s being paid for by the local option sales tax, a grant from the Hall-Perrine foundation, support from the board of supervisors and other groups.

Officials want to point out that they've been working on this idea for five years.

Well before construction started on the amphitheater in Cedar Rapids.

They’re hoping it will be a different sort of space to bring a different audience.

"This is really meant to be a performance in nature, where the facility there is a performance on the river and so there'll probably have totally different acts,” said Mike Bell of RDG Planning and Design.

Klopfenstein says it's a great honor to have the project named after him.

"It's going to be a great legacy for our family,” he said.

The amphitheater is being built at Lowe Park and is expected to be complete in December.

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