SPEARFISH, SD – The goal to build a new bandshell at Spearfish City Park is progressing, thanks to the fundraising efforts of local nonprofit Spread the Tunes and its partnership with the City.
Monday, the Spearfish City Council approved a reimbursement agreement with Spread the Tunes, which will reimburse the City for schematic design costs for the new bandshell. With the designs completed and a cost estimate, City staff can apply for grants to aid in the construction of the new bandshell in a future year.
The Council also approved design proposals from Interstate Engineering, to provide construction plans, and Williams and Associates, to provide schematic level design/preliminary cost estimates. The proposal from Interstate Engineering includes topographical survey, site grading, floodplain work, and miscellaneous project coordination, with the design estimated to cost between $11,000 to $14,000. The proposal from Williams and Associates, with includes a schematic design, is estimated at $7,640. Spread the Tunes would reimburse the City for these design costs.
Zac Eixenberger, representing Spread the Tunes, explained Monday that although the group was not able to host many fundraisers last year due to COVID, there is approximately $60,000 raised for the project so far, with a $100,000 goal.
Spread the Tunes hosts the annual Canyon Acoustic Series at the bandshell in Spearfish City Park, which begins June 16. The goal of the project is to replace the current 1960s-era structure, the McClung Memorial Theater, as well as resituate the placement of where the new bandshell would be located. At the time of its construction, the Black Hills Passion Play was in operation, so the bandshell was situated so any sound from the bandshell would not interfere with the performances that occurred several times a week, directing sound from the bandshell toward South Canyon Street. The new bandshell is planned to be constructed to the south of the current location and face north. This configuration would provide more park space to be utilized by audiences. The location would also provide more convenient loading/unloading of musical instruments, equipment, etc., as the back of the new bandshell would abut the current parking lot.
The current bandshell has received minor updates over the years but never any major renovations, and its age is showing. In addition to issues with its foundation, it has outdated wiring, no loading ramp, and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. As conversations about updating the structure continued, organizers found that resituating and rebuilding made more sense when looking at potential future uses than renovations.
Early in the discussion phase, Spread the Tunes reached out to members of the McClung family (Charles McClung was a local band director and namesake for the bandshell) to discuss the project, and they gave full support to the project.
Tyler Ehnes, Spearfish Parks and Recreation director, explained that with the designs and cost estimates, the City can apply for grants that could be used for the construction of the project in the coming years, and with the addition to the fundraising efforts of Spread the Tunes, cover the costs.
The City Council approved the reimbursement agreement and design proposals and thanked Spread the Tunes and staff for their efforts.
Click here for more information about the fundraiser.
Shown is the current location of the bandshell (in grey) at Spearfish City Park, along with the proposed location (in white). Courtesy image