The Volunteer Park Trust still has designs to replace the old brick amphitheater, but has postponed a capital campaign in response to the results of a feasibility study.

VPT contracted with the Seattle Parks Foundation for a feasibility study prior to plans to begin fundraising for the new amphitheater, said trust president Brian Giddens.

“Some of the feasibility study recommendations were that the people who had been interviewed as potential donors or could help find key donors had indicated a few things,” he said.

The most critical finding was that fewer people than expected were familiar with the Volunteer Park Trust and its relation to the park, the conservatory or Seattle Parks and Recreation.

“There’s a lot of parks groups,” Giddens said, “and they said that we really need to be more defined and really brand ourselves more before we go off on a $4 million campaign.”

The Volunteer Park Trust is also working with Owen Richards Architects, which has a schematic design for the amphitheater, to find ways to reduce construction costs, Giddens said.

Planned to replace the 1971 brick and concrete structure often avoided by performance groups, the amphitheater has been designed to include a revolving door in the center as a backdrop for performances that can also open up to the park, restrooms and changing rooms for performers and a soft stage for actors and dancers. The roof is proposed to be translucent and scalloped.

Volunteer Park Trust also plans to move the amphitheater north of the current site, to avoid sun glare from the west. This will also allow for reconnecting a former portion of the original Olmsted pathway in Volunteer Park.

“We very much want to see it happen,” Giddens said. “We’re still talking to folks when we have other public presentations.”

The feasibility study also recommends securing more public funding before seeking private donors, and Giddens said SPR has committed to $700,000 to $800,000, while Washington Sen. Jamie Pedersen offering to help find state funds of $250,000 to $500,000.

While the Volunteer Park Trust has been around since 2012, and hosts cleanups and restoration days in the park, as well as its Holiday in the Park event (6-8 p.m. Dec. 7 this year) there is still more work to do to better establish its brand, Giddens said.

That’s why VPT’s fall fundraising campaign is focused on replacing unsafe fencing around Volunteer Park’s lily ponds and updating 40 street lamps with LEDs and a fresh coat of paint. Giddens said completing easier projects like these is one way the organization plans to better establish its brand as park stewards.

It’s unclear when VPT could restart its efforts to create a modern amphitheater in Volunteer Park, but there are designs ready when the time comes.