Centennial spruce-up starts on Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds

The Deadwood City Commission approved $65,000 in improvements to the Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds in preparation for the 100th annual Days of ’76 Celebration, coming up next year. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD — With the 99th annual upon us and the 100th anniversary of the Days of ’76 celebration right around the corner, city officials are throwing the gate open on efforts to spruce the joint up, as Monday the Deadwood City Commission authorized city staff to expend up to $65,000 on Historic Preservation (HP) budgeted funds for upgrades and repairs of various items at the Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds.

“These projects will properly address deteriorating structural issues, safety concerns, and general maintenance matters throughout the complex,” said Deadwood Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker. “Due to the numerous events and overall use of this facility it is difficult to coordinate

material purchases, contractors and schedules with City Commission meetings. Therefore, staff is requesting City Commission authorization to purchase materials and utilize City staff as well as fair and competitively-priced labor to accomplish several of the following identified projects.”

Projects to be completed prior to the 2022 Days of ’76 Centennial Celebration include addressing many of the following items: 250 feet of primary walkway surfacing and framing on the main grandstands; completely removing and replacing the north end wall; lighting upgrades on the main stands underneath and replace arena lighting mounted to the main grandstands; water pooling on the concrete and brick areas that are uneven —  replacement of all concrete and brick with stamped concrete on the main stands north entrance; remove brick and pour entire area with stamped concrete on the main stands south entrance; cover under the seating with metal, cover vendor and bar space on the south end of main grandstands; event complex entrance sign and way-finding in and around the stands; design and build a north end boardwalk.

“Out of those listed, five of those are actually more of life safety, any of the boardwalk work, the wayfinding, getting people to the right places at the right times and the next item on the agenda is part of that, as well,” said Deadwood Public Buildings, Transportation, and Safety Director Tom Kruzel. “We want to accomplish a lot of this with city staff, as far as the labor’s concerned.”  

In other business, the city commission also granted permission to purchase 2-inch by 10-inch decking for the walkway in the Juso Brothers Grandstands at the Days of ’76 Rodeo arena in the amount of $9,817, to be paid from the HP Capital Assets line item.

“The decking on the Days of ‘76 Main Grandstands is in need of repair,” Kuchenbecker said. “The area in question is between the general seating and the box seating and would be for the longer of the two sides of the ADA lift area.”

Plans are to purchase the decking and city staff will do the repairs.

“This is the south end of the grandstands from the new handicapped area, all the way to the new ramp that was put in,” Kruzel said. “We’re getting a lot of rock and a lot of cupping in there. We’re going to upgrade this and install the same return the decking was made out of on the south end and around the handicap area.”

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