Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Pillars in place


June 20, 2019

Concrete footing for the new grandstand at the fairground are installed and ready for the next phase. Cost of the project is expected to be between $1.4 and $1.5 million.

Installation of concrete footings for the new Palouse Empire Fair grandstand is completed. The project included pouring square footings with concrete columns which will support the steel grandstand structure. Column heights vary in the different rows to conform with the steel structure which will support the grandstand decks and seats. The last row of the pillars on the fairground side were made higher to prevent structure damage from vehicle mishaps.

Twelve rows of four pillars were installed for the main structure with additional pillars for an entrance ramp on each end. The pillar patterns varies in the middle of the grid where another entrance will be installed. A crew from McKeen Concrete, Moses Lake, installed the pillars over approximately 12 work days. They are a subcontractor for Southern Bleacher Co. of Graham, Texas.

The 54 pillars are two feet in diameter and the 7 x 7 foot support pads are 18 inches thick and have each been placed on two feet of gravel bed. Trucks from Motley & Motley last Thursday were hauling loads of dirt and dumping them between the pillar rows. The dirt will be distributed over the square support pads and bring the grandstand surface up to grade with the fairground. The area beneath the grandstand will be paved.

The layout of the pillars reflects the larger size of the new grandstand with the entrance supports on the north end closer to aligning with the entrance of the north end entrance to the arena.

Fair director Bill Tensfeld said the contractor for the steel installation expects to have the installation completed in approximately six weeks. The steel shipment was expected to arrive early this week.


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