Fairgrounds construction getting underwayYears of planning and discussion about a Stark County Fairgrounds will finally begin to materialize this summer.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
Years of planning and discussion about a Stark County Fairgrounds will finally begin to materialize this summer.
A groundbreaking is planned during Roughrider Days Fair and Expo, which is a community festival held June 26 to July 5.
“We don’t have a date yet, but it will probably be a day or two before the fourth (of July),” said Terri Thiel, Stark County Fair Association member.
The association has 56 acres of land a few miles west of Dickinson set aside for a fairgrounds. The Fair Board has been working to develop the land into a multipurpose facility to hold county fairs and other community activities.
Thiel said the project will begin with the construction of a low maintenance road and an outdoor riding arena.
“The arena will be low cost and we can do it immediately,” Thiel said. “What we want to do is get the public out there and seeing it and using it right away.”
Gary Satern, project consultant said the riding arena will be about 175-by-300 feet and will cost between $13,000 and $15,000 to construct.
Fair Board members chose to begin with the arena because it’s a low-cost project, but Satern said they will not cut corners when constructing any part of the fairgrounds.
“You don’t want to save a dollar today to spend five dollars a couple years down the road because you didn’t plan ahead,” Satern said.
Thiel said the Fair Board has money set aside for the arena and road, but it hopes to secure funds from other entities to help defray some costs.
The Fair Board hopes to have the outdoor arena and the road completed by the end of the summer, said Chairman Kurt Froelich, but there are still hurdles to clear.
Construction on hiking and biking trails at the grounds may also begin this summer, but Thiel said that project may take a little longer to complete.
Phase one includes constructing a 4-H building and a storage building.
“I would prefer that we get phase one done by this time next summer,” Satern said.
The Fair Board plans to hire an architect to plan construction.
The board is excited to finally be breaking ground, but Froelich said there’s a lot more work to come.
“It’s still a long ways to come to fruition,” Froelich said.
The outdoor riding arena will eventually become a part of a rodeo grounds, once grandstands and shoots are added, Satern said.
Several other additions are planned including more buildings, parking lots and roads.
Satern said a price has not been established for the overall project.