The Osages of the Grayhorse District will have to wait until next year for a new roundhouse.
According to Grayhorse Village Five Man Board member, George Pease, the board is looking for an architect as well as other estimates on electrical costs, design costs and any other costs that may arise. “We’re wanting to do a better job professionally,” he said.
“Right now the project … bidding out the architect to adjust the design and get our plans built so we can resubmit for bid,” Pease said. “It will not be done this year but we plan on starting the week after our dances this year.”
The Grayhorse In-Lon-Schka dances are scheduled June 7 through June 10.
A new roundhouse has been discussed in the Grayhorse District for sometime and on Jan. 4 Congressman Archie Mason, who is seeking re-election June 4, filed a bill to give $550,000 to the Grayhorse Five Man Board for the demolition and construction of a new roundhouse in the Grayhorse Indian Village. Mason is also the Head Committeeman of the Grayhorse In-Lon-Schka Dance Committee.
The bill was rushed through the congressional process, passed and signed by Principal Chief John Red Eagle for implementation.
The Five Man Board hoped to have the current dance arbor torn down and replaced with a roundhouse of their design before the annual War Mother’s Dance, scheduled for May 14.
The bill, ONCA 12-20, specifies the five-man board is required to follow the Nation’s Competitive Bidding Act before choosing contractors for the project, a process that has held up construction projects in the past.
A new dance arbor has been talked about and debated for years in the Grayhorse District, with arguments for and against it. Every June, with the interest to participate in the Osage In-Lon-Schka ever growing, dancers have crowded under the arbor, sometimes with difficulty. But what Mason and others were most concerned about was the current arbor’s debilitating support structure.
The design for the roundhouse allows for two rows of seating for the dancers, more room for family benches and a ventilation system. Responsible for the new design is Grayhorse Five Man Board and Grayhorse committeeman Chuck Tillman; Grayhorse committeeman Tim Tall Chief of Wichita, Kans.; and Grayhorse committeeman Scott Heskett.
The Grayhorse Five Man Board is made up of Tillman, Mark J. Freeman (Chair), George Pease III, Carol Kliesen and Judy Johnson. Members of the Grayhorse Five Man Board are appointed by the Principal Chief.