Capital Improvement Project: Stephens Lake Park Development – Phase I

Funding Fiscal Year(s): Year Budget
FY 2001 $275,000
FY 2002 $950,000
FY 2003 $670,300
FY 2004 $604,700
Project Number: C00095
Project Budget: $2,500,000*
Funding Source: Park Sales Tax
Year Completed: 2010

*$2,500,000 was the original budget for Phase I construction. Other amenities were added after Phase I was completed and funds were appropriated to the Stephens project (C00095) while it was still open. See list of Capital Improvement Projects for Stephens Lake Park for more details.

(Plansopens PDF file )

Project Description: Develop Phase I of Stephens Lake Park, including:

Project Notes: Stephens Lake Park was dedicated on June 26, 2005, with about 75% of Phase I of the park construction completed and open to the public. The rest of the main elements of Phase I, except for the spraygrounds, waterfall, and amphitheater, were completed in 2006. The dedication for the Riechmann Indoor Pavilion with parking lot and playground was held on April 29, 2006. The sprayground was completed and opened to the public May 1, 2008. The waterfalls were completed and dedicated on June 14, 2009. The last element of the development, the outdoor amphitheater, was completed in 2010. More information on the last three elements of the park below.

Project Status: Completed.

Park Dedication

Park History


Project Description: 
As part of phase I of the park development project, construction of a 5,782 sq. ft. spraygrounds with a variety of water spray features, such as, spray rings, water columns, stream jets, geysers, and bubblers. Construction includes a pump house for the water and electrical controls. System uses chlorinated recycled water. Spraygrounds and pump house was constructed by Parks and Rec staff. The chain link fence installation was contracted.

Project Notes: Spraygrounds completed and open to the public May 1, 2008. Park staff completed the stone exterior of the pump house in July 2008.

Project Status: Completed.

Park staff constructing sprayground pump house (Photo taken July 2007)
Park staff pouring sprayground slab (Photo taken September 2007)
Completed sprayground slab (Photo taken October 2007)
Spraygrounds completed and opened to the public on May 1, 2008


Project Description: 
Construct two waterfalls on the north hill above the lake.

Project Notes: Two waterfalls were approved in the Stephens Lake Park Master Plan, but were not funded in the phase one of development. Two donations were secured to fund both waterfalls. Funding for the large waterfall was donated by the estate of Russell and Mary (Grant) Nall in the amount of $50,000. Funding for the small waterfall was donated by Ed Petersheim in the amount of $10,000. The waterfalls were designed by Parks and Recreation staff and constructed by staff and earthwork contractor, Richardson Excavation. The large waterfall is about 300 ft. long and is comprised of a series of fall, flat sections, and four pools. The small waterfall is about 35 ft. long. Over 800 tons of limestone boulders, 400 tons of Missouri river rock, 22,000 sq. ft. of geofabric, and 16.500 sq. ft. of rubber liner were used in the construction of both waterfalls. 

Project Status:
 The waterfalls were completed and dedicated on June 14, 2009.

(Dedication Programopens PDF file )

See Related Article – Columbia is Falling for Waterfallsopens PDF file ,” Missouri Parks and Recreation Magazine – Fall 2009.

Completed waterfall bridge. Water from the waterfall will flow under the bridge into the lake.
Waterfall boulders being delivered to waterfall site. (Photo taken October 2007)
Staff unrolling waterfall liner. (Photo taken August 2008)
Waterfall construction boulder work. (Photo taken September 2008)
The completed large waterfall. The large waterfall is too long to capture in one photo. Photo shows one of the four pools. (Photo taken 6/14/09)
The completed small waterfall. (Photo taken 6/14/09)
A dedication ceremony was held in conjunction with the Nall family reunion on June 14, 2009. About 80 people were in attendance. [Ribbon cutting] (Dedication Programopens PDF file )

Outdoor Amphitheater

Project Description and Notes: 
The City received official notification of a $20,250 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant award to help fund the construction of the amphitheater on December 6, 2007. Total budget for the amphitheater is $45,000, which includes a City grant match of Park Sales Tax in the amount of $24,750.  An additional Missouri Arts Council Grant in the amount of $5,000 was obtained by the Office of Cultural Affairs for the project. The amphitheater is part of the park master plan and is the last funded amenity to be constructed in phase I of Stephens Lake Park. Location of amphitheater is in the northwest section of the park, as shown in the plans below.

Council Items

Grand Opening: With the amphitheater close to completion, a grand opening was held on June 26, 2010 featuring a free performance of Revenge of the Space Pandas by the Maplewood Barn Theater followed by a musical performance by the 70-member Columbia Community Band. An audience of about 350 gathered on the hillside to enjoy the performances under a clear summer sky. (Amphitheater Grand Opening Programopens PDF file  and event flyeropens PDF file .)

Project Status: Completed.

Related Articles

Click for a printable PDF file
Amphitheater Construction
Opening Night Performance

Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater

Capital Improvement Program

Stephens Lake Park