By Mark S. Kenna
Nov. 22, 2013. Boone Town Council approved up to $20,000 for the Cultural Resource Advisory Board (CRAB) to demolish and remove certain “immediate items” on the list of repairs for the Daniel Boone Park Horn in the West amphitheater at its Thursday evening meeting.
Pilar Fotta, director of cultural resources with the town, recommended certain items that need to be removed before the 2014 season of the “Horn In The West” outdoor drama can begin.
On the list was the demolition and disposal of the left stage wall, which would cost $2,059. The same fate was also prescribed for the back wall, which would cost $7,100, and the PIT building, which is the most expensive line at $9,900 – a total price tag of around $19,000.
As an alternative to demolishing the PIT building and saving a little money, Fotta suggested that council could barricade the area around the building and just remove the left stage wall and back wall.
The $20,000 allocated from the general fund balance would only cover demolition.
The town will need to get a structural engineer to look at the roof of the amphitheatre and the catwalk system, Eric Gustaveson, Boone facility maintenance superintendent, said.
Barricades and signs have been posted around the catwalk to stop people from entering that area to meet the requirements of the planning department, Gustaveson added.
Brantz asked if the facility would be useable after the demolition of the above items.
Taking care of these items deals with life and safety issues, Fotta said, adding that there are still items on the report that could be done next.
Southern Appalachian Historical Association expressed a concern about storage if the PIT building is demolished and removed.
Fotta suggested using the area under the dressing rooms for an alternate storage space.
Right now, that space is not being used. SAHA and CRAB have talked about the potential for selling the items under the dressing rooms for scrap for cash, Fotta added.
There were other maintenance issues on the list like installing exit signs and emergency lighting in the dressing rooms and barricading and clearly marking any area that is unsafe.
However, the next two things that need to be dealt with are an assessment of the trees and replacement of the two water heaters in the dressing rooms, Fotta said.
During the meetings in October, Boone Town Council approved that “immediate” items on the maintenance list gathered by Todd Miller, Boone building inspector, be taken care of.
Daniel Boone Park houses the 2,500-seat amphitheatre for the “Horn in the West” drama through the summer months. The Horn in the West amphitheatre was built in 1952 on 35 acres that includes a tree-covered ravine and an amphitheater built into the landscape.