The need for a large building on the grounds of the Auglaize County Fairgrounds has existed for years and fair officials had the project near the top of a 15-year improvement list.
After years of making improvements to other buildings and with other less expensive projects jumping to the front of the list, the project has finally cycled back to the top of the list.
Fairgrounds Manager Fred Piehl requested on Monday for Auglaize County Agricultural Society, or Fair Board, members to consider building a 100- by 150-foot multi-purpose building to replace the existing dairy barn.
“Approximately 15 years ago we put together a list of all the projected building we would like to see built and that was one of them, actually it was one of the first ones, but once we got into the program it got flipped around and now we are back into that cycle,” Piehl said. “The Dairy Barn needs a tremendous amount of work to it and it is just no longer suitable to use.
“Now we want to put up a multi-purpose building that is 100-feet wide by 125-feet or 150-feet long,” the fairgrounds manager and Fair Board secretary said. “It would be a clear-spanned building and it would be close to the Miller Building which would make that area one big complex. The building would be something we could add restrooms on and just keep upgrading the facility.”
The estimated cost of the facility would be $350,000. The second phase, which would include adding restrooms and showers, could be as much as another $150,000, “depending how extravagant the board wants to go,” Piehl said.
“We have some money set aside for the building already and we have had some people and companies donate money toward this project,” Piehl said. “We still have a long way to go, but it is a start.”
Auglaize County Engineer’s Office staff and Larry McLean have provided architectural drawings of the proposed building.
Under the plan, the Dairy Barn would be razed, with the dairy cows being moved to one of the existing show barns and the goats moved to a second show barn.
“This plan would move them to some extremely nice buildings,” Piehl said. “The proposed building would be big enough to handle one large show or could be split to house two smaller shows.”
Piehl explained this is the next project on the list and board members must decide to either do this one or opt for another project. He said in the past other projects — such as the new restroom and shower facility, air conditioning for the Junior Fair Building and expansion of the campgrounds — leapfrogged the proposed building.
“It (proposed building) will be a tremendous asset for many years to come, for many generations to come,” Piehl said. “We want to do what our forefathers did and build facilities that will serve the next generations for years.”