Friday, December 2, 2011

Hailey plans new historical exhibit

Project at Rodeo Grounds could be built this summer

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy graphic The city of Hailey hopes to start construction next summer of a new historical exhibit at the Rodeo Grounds.

Hailey leaders got their first look at conceptual plans for the Hailey Rodeo Grounds Interpretive Center on Monday. The city will put out construction bids for the building this winter with hopes of completing the project next summer.

About $480,000 in remaining funds from a $3.5 million rodeo bond, passed by Hailey voters two years ago, has been set aside for construction of the interpretive center.

Hailey Grants Administrator Tracy Anderson said in an interview that she is working on an approach for raising funds to complete the historical exhibit that will be housed in the interpretive center.

The building will be situated behind the main entrance to the rodeo grounds, on the southwest corner of the rodeo arena. The building's purpose is to present a history of the rodeo grounds to visitors and residents.

"The Interpretive Center was conceived to memorialize the old arena, but that piece of ground has been important to Hailey since its earliest days," said Hailey Historic Preservation Commission Chair Rob Lonning to the city council on Monday.

The city won a $4,000 grant from the Idaho Humanities Council last summer to fund the exhibit. Project historian Florence Blanchard has been at work for months researching the significance of the site and gathering key artifacts, including rodeo accessories, posters, film clips and photographs, which will be included in the exhibit.

Alissa Rupp, a representative of architectural consultants The Portico Group, presented to the City Council on Monday conceptual design plans for a historical exhibit that will be housed within the interpretive center.

The plans include a diorama featuring a timeline of history of the rodeo grounds reaching back more than 100 years, to when the property was the site of a horseracing track.

Rupp said the historical exhibit will also include elements from the skatepark and planned ice rink nearby.

Tony Evans:

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