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History and Information Center exhibit space to receive $180K re-vamp

February 7, 2019 GMT

DEADWOOD — The Deadwood History and Information Center, located at 3 Siever St., is long overdue for an exhibit space revamp and Monday, the Deadwood City Commission moved to accept the sole bid received on the project in the amount of $180,000 to Split Rock Studios of Arden Hills, Minn.

“We advertised and sent out an RFP for this project and budgeted in it in ’17, ’18, and ’19, $75,000 each year, and the total amount is $180,000,” said Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker. “We only received one proposal from Split Rock Studios. They are the firm that did the Deadwood Welcome Center, and our intent was to bring the design elements of both the Welcome Center and the South Gateway into the History and Interpretive Center, with colors and fonts. Historic Preservation recommends approval in the amount of $180,000. … We did not spend all the public education and advocacy fund. So it’s been earmarked for this.”

Because the funds set aside were left unspent in their respective calendar year budgets, the project will require a budget supplement from reserves, less the $75,000 budgeted for 2019.

Mayor David Ruth, Jr. clarified how the project was planned for and will be funded.

“Even though it has been budgeted multiple years, we’ll still have to supplement to be in compliance with state

statute,” said Ruth. “It will still look like a supplement for 2019, because the entire amount didn’t come out of this single budget.”

Kuchenbecker said that the total amount of the project was anticipated to be close to $250,000.

“Rather than taking it all out in one calendar year, we broke it up over three years, setting aside money so when we got to 2019, we would have the money,” Kuchenbecker said.

At $180,000, the bid price came in well below the budgeted amount of $225,000.

The Deadwood History & Information Center is incorporated into the restored 1897 Chicago & Northwestern passenger depot. The depot is a contributing structure within Deadwood’s National Historic Landmark.

The last time the space was upgraded was in 1992 and the visitor center receives approximately 48,000 visitors annually.

“In 1992, a series of permanent exhibits designed by the National Park Service were installed in the proposed areas. Currently the visitor center contains an assortment of permanent and temporary exhibits, informational videos, sitting area, and is staffed by one to information specialists throughout the year,” Kuchenbecker said. “The city of Deadwood owns and maintains the building. Two entities, the Historic Preservation Office and the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce share responsibility for its administration and care. The Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the physical maintenance and security of the property, while the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce oversees the information specialists.”

The new exhibit design will include: story board/exhibit narrative, layout, and artwork; design, fabrication, and installation of semi-permanent exhibit space; integration of 1876 diorama of Deadwood’s Main Street; integration of restored luggage cart; integration of historic photographs, ephemera, and objects from city collections; design and installation of exhibit cases, museum mounts, and fixtures allowing opportunity to rotate artifacts; appropriate lighting and UV protection; audio and visual effects, where applicable; text panel and label development.

The focal point of the project will be the 593-square-foot interpretive space, as well as the informational station, or reception desk, conductor’s office exhibit area, men’s waiting room area, and baggage room interpretive area.

Work is anticipated to start this month and be completed by the early fall.

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