THOMASVILLE — Downtown Thomasville grandstand seating built more than four decades ago will be replaced with 21st century hydraulic seating in bright red.
Thomasville City Council approved an expenditure of $74,198 for new seating. The price includes delivery from the Indiana company that manufactures the grandstand.
Technical school students built the grandstand now in use during the 1970s, using a mobile home frame, city public works assistant superintendent Stephen Stewar told council members Monday.
The current grandstand requires eight or nine city employees four to five hours to erect, Stewart said.
The grandstand is positioned at the intersection of North Broad and Jefferson streets for the Rose Festival Rosebud Parade and remains in place until after the Rose Festival Parade the next night. The old grandstand blocks the busy downtown intersection for several days during festival week.
Stewart said new seating will be transported to the site for the Rosebud Parade, removed afterward and returned the next night for the Rose Festival Parade, requiring less than an hour for setup.
“You pull up, hit a button, and hydraulics do the work,” Stewart said.
The seating can be quickly and easily erected for an impromptu event, such as for a ball team victory parade, Stewart said.
The new grandstand has fewer seats at 216 than the 266 in the old structure. Stewart said not all seating is used in the old grandstand.
Old seating was aluminum. Individual seats in the new grandstand will be red plastic.
“The new ones are handicap- and wheelchair-friendly,” said Nate Tyler, city solid waste director.