New Hradec Hall looks to the futureNEW HRADEC — The New Hradec Workman Hall has been a community gathering place for generations of families. The dance and dining rooms were used for weddings and anniversaries, elections and card parties. But as the population aged, the steps leading into the hall became an issue.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
NEW HRADEC — The New Hradec Workman Hall has been a community gathering place for generations of families. The dance and dining rooms were used for weddings and anniversaries, elections and card parties. But as the population aged, the steps leading into the hall became an issue.
“There are many older people around and the steps make it hard to get in and out,” said David Sadowsky, hall association president.
The hall, located 15 miles northwest of Dickinson, was constructed by the Catholic Workman, a fraternal benefit society, in the 1940s. The company went through a merger, but the hall remains locally owned.
“It’s a social gathering for the whole community. We have elections out here. We have card parties. We have meetings. You name it. It’s open to the public,” said Sadowsky.
Because the hall is a public voting site and the steps were a limiting obstacle, the Dunn County Commissioners filed a grant application with the Roosevelt Custer Regional Council. Community Development Coordinator Ken Davis worked with the commissioners on the application.
The application went through a scoring and review system, and it qualified by points, said Davis.
“The reason it qualified, was that it was a voting location for the south of Dunn County. We put in an elevator and handicapped accessible bathrooms,” he said. “When it was all said and done, it was about $173,000 in community block grant money and they put in about $26,600 in private money.”
Davis said the council provides technical assistance to cities and counties in southwestern North Dakota.
“We guide these people. We make recommendations and they make the decisions,” he said. “There is so much paper work. If somebody tries it on their own, they may feel like pulling their hair out.”
The grant provided for construction of an entryway — complete with the elevator and removal of architectural barriers for the handicapped accessible restrooms, said Davis.
He said the construction started in October and was completed this spring.
“It really looks good. The older people really like it. They can come and don’t have to maneuver steps,” said Sadowsky.
He said a heating and air condition system also is being installed, with those funds coming locally.
Alice and Robert Bezdicek are delighted about the new addition.
As a young girl, Alice Bezdicek remembers construction of the hall, when her grandfather, Lucas Adamsky was in charge of construction. The building was located next to her father’s store. She and her husband held their wedding reception there in 1951.
She vividly remembers when the hall burned to the ground in 1963.
“My husband was bartending and I thought he’d be burned up in the building,” she said.
The hall was rebuilt, complete with seven steep steps.
“The steps weren’t a concern then. Now, we have handicapped people. Our own son is in a wheelchair,” she said.
“It’s gorgeous. It’s so helpful. People can now come to weddings,” she added.
Carmen Rambousek, who farms nearby, is manager of the hall located at 313 Lafayette St.
“I take care of bookings and things like that,” he said. “The hall is open to anyone who needs any kind of party.”
He said the hall can host parties anywhere from 100 to 400 people. The hall can seat up to 200.
“Our cooks prepare everything — it’s excellent home-cooked food.”
With the renovations, he said the hall should be able to handle all types of crowds.
“It’s exciting, very exciting,” he said.
To reserve a booking or to make a donation toward the loan, call Rambousek at 701-227-1579.