Future of grandstand at Graham Park
The grandstand at Olmsted County’s Graham Park recently was reviewed as part of a bleacher certification process. Under Minnesota State Statute, grandstand/bleacher structures must be structurally inspected every 10 years and meet state standards to receive a certificate of compliance.
Based on the April 26, 2023, Bleacher Certification Review by the Institute for Environmental Assessment & LS Engineers, Inc., the Graham Park grandstand, originally built in 1938, is not in compliance with the structural inspection requirements.
“Over the years, the county has invested money to repair and maintain the grandstand,” said Olmsted County Board of Commissioners Chair Gregory Wright. “However, age, exposure to weather, and the natural wear on materials have contributed to the deterioration of the 85-year-old structure.”
The county’s priority is the health and safety of residents and visitors. To that end, the county is considering options for alternative seating for Olmsted County Fair events that would normally involve seating in the grandstand in July 2023, if repairs are unfeasible. Additionally, the county is exploring future options for the grandstand in coordination with the Graham Park master plan.
“We have a good working relationship with Olmsted County staff, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners, and the Graham Park Planning Group and are in agreement that the safety of fairgoers will always be top priority,” said Olmsted County Fair Board President Scott Schneider.
The Graham Park Planning Group is working with the Olmsted County Fair Board to address options and accommodate needs as upcoming summer events near.
Olmsted County will keep residents informed on this topic through Olmsted County’s website and social media channels.