During their regular meeting city commissioners approved the non-profit organization grant for the Masonic Temple. The grant will be used to fix electrical problems in the building and to install an air conditioning system, in order to make it suitable for summertime activities.
While members of the Masonic Temple applied for the grant earlier this year and did not receive it, Deadwood city officials took another look at the request when they discovered that the historic building would serve as the venue for the Western Governor’s Association Conference this summer. The conference is scheduled for June 10-12, 2007 and is expected to draw more than 400 participants as well as media from throughout the region. Commissioner Nyla Griffith said with that much exposure for the town, the last thing the city wants is for the media and conference participants to focus on the heat in the building. Rather, she said, the city wants visitors to focus on the city of Deadwood and historic preservation efforts.
In addition to preparing for the governors conference, Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker said upgrading the electrical system in the building would assist in preventing a disaster in the future. Electrical fires are among the leading destructive forces for historical buildings, he said.
©The Black Hills Pioneer, Newspapers, South Dakota, SD 2006