Grand Forks contemplates changes to storage and display areas at Gyro Park

The City of Grand Forks is contemplating changes to the structures used as storage and display areas at Gyro Park.

The City of Grand Forks is contemplating changes to the structures used as storage and display areas at Gyro Park.

Over the past 30 years, the structures have been used as areas for storing large artifacts that are part of the Boundary Museum’s collection.

Though the community artifacts and archives belong to the Grand Forks community, the City of Grand Forks released the care and custody of the artifacts and archives to the Boundary Museum in 2008.

Mayor Brian Taylor noted that there isn’t much he can say at this point.

“We’re hoping to be working with the Boundary Museum Society, the Woodworker’s Guild and the city to do something about the situation to keep the antique wagons and various items that are made out of wood and leather from deteriorating any further,” he explained. “The goal is to restore the antiques but to also display them under proper cover from the environment.”

At the moment, Taylor is unsure if the decision means relocating the items to another secure location or leaving them where they currently are in the structures. Most of the artifacts are displayed at the Boundary Museum at the Fructova heritage site, while the archives are stored in the space provided by the city in the basement of city hall.

There is also an antique fire truck that is located in a structure built by Grand Forks Fire Rescue. Though conditions for most of the structures are very good, the roof of the structure housing the fire truck needs repairs.

Grand Forks Fire Chief Dale Heriot said there have been a few ideas discussed but nothing is concrete.

“We’ve always said we’d like to see a facility beside the old courthouse but again, that’s prior to any discussions and a thought of the fire department,” Heriot said. “We still take the truck to parades and various events throughout the year. We can’t use it for fighting fire but it still runs very well.”

City council is considering the costs of relocating the fire truck display, which will need to be entirely rebuilt, including a cement pad foundation. The relocating of the antique fire truck would also bring up discussions of redeveloping the other structures at Gyro Park.

Bob DeMaertelaere, a director for the Boundary Woodworker’s Guild, added that everything is still being discussed.

“We have been asked if we could move all the exhibits out from Gyro Park to another location,” he said. “In turn, the stalls may be used for the farmers’ market but we don’t have anywhere for the artifacts to go at the time being. Those buildings were built by the museum on city property.”

However, DeMaertelaere pointed out that the farmers’ market is only a few months of the year, and wonders what the structures will be used for when not used by the farmers’ market.

“We have indicated to the city that we will co-operate as best as we can,” he concluded. “One suggestion I made was to find room at Fructova, but again, everything is still in the works.”

Costs are still undetermined at this point.