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Photo courtesy Toni Korpi, April 7, 2024

City moving to replace band shell

By Randy Thoms May 28, 2024 | 12:50 PM

The city of International Falls still hopes to tear down the burned-out band shell at Smokey Bear Park by July 4th.

The facility was destroyed in May.

City council approved the appointment of a firm to do the design work.
Public Works Manager Ted Brokaw says it is going to take some time before a new facility is constructed.

“We’re probably not looking at starting construction until next year because that design process is going to take a long time,” says Brokaw.

The facility was well insured so replacement costs are not expected to cost the city unless it seeks additional things that were not part of the former one.

Questions remain if any portion of the existing band shell can be saved.

The city’s insurance adjuster is hoping the concrete stage is salvageable.

Brokaw is okay with that but notes the new structure needs to address accessibility regulations.

“I want the city council and the community to see what that building is going to look like before we commit and say we have to keep building at the same elevation”

“If it makes sense to save the concrete and the building looks good, and we can meet the ADA and we get the same size building that we had before, I think that’s right. But if we get to a point that the building is going to take away from the look just to save the concrete, I’m not ready to recommend it to the city council.”

A temporary stage is being brought in for the Fourth of July celebrations.