Arena in Disrepair Rodeo facility closes, needs $1M rebuild

Arena in Disrepair Rodeo facility closes, needs $1M rebuild
Longview News-Journal
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 12:00pm

Longview Rodeo Arena is closed to the public at perhaps the height of its popularity.

Now, the city must decide whether to spend $1 million to demolish and replace the structure that has served Longview at least six decades.

The city closed the arena after a Houston-based civil engineering firm on Oct. 18 found structural damage and corrosion to the bleachers. In his report, Senior Structural Engineer Keith Burkholder with Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, Inc., said the arena’s grandstands are in disrepair and structurally unsound. He also found significant corrosion, design and construction deficiencies on all five grandstands and recommended that the facility be demolished and replaced because of the “substantial cost for complete restoration” of the arena to meet building code requirements.

Burkholder said it was the first inspection in his 26-year career in which he recommended a facility’s closure.

“We’ve known for some time that this facility was in dire straits, because every year we spend money to patch it up,” Mayor Jay Dean said. “It has gotten to the point where we are not curing the problem, but instead postponing the inevitable.”

Read full details here.

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