The public will get a chance during the Pickaway County Fair to take a look at proposed plans to revitalized the fairground facilities. The plans are being presented by the Pickaway County Board of Commissioners and will be available for viewing and comments throughout the fair.
“The fairgrounds are in a condition that’s not acceptable anymore,” said Pickaway County Commissioner Brian Stewart. “We’ve got great agriculture in the county, award-winning 4-H and FFA programs in the county, and the facilities that we have to service them are really not up to that same standard.”
The plans were designed by Columbus firm MS Consultants, whose lead engineer is a Pickaway County resident. The firm was chosen after the board sent out a Request For Proposal to a number of design firms. The county commissioners also surveyed some 600 people both inside and outside the county on what improvements needed to be done.
“The number one thing that came back is that youth agriculture activities are really what the fair is about and that should be our main focus,” he said.
Stewart said an entire revitalization of the fairgrounds could be a multi-million dollar project that could take years to complete.
“But there’s some things we can do first at a very reasonable cost.” They include initial improvements to facilities for 4-H and Future Farmers of America, as well as an enhanced show arena.
“We’re in the position here, as owners of the fairgrounds, to really take the lead in this process,” Stewart said. “We’ve had good discussions with the fair board and we’re including everybody that uses the fairgrounds, that benefits from the fairgrounds—everybody’s opinion is being listened to and considered.”
The board of commissioners will display the improvement plans at two fair locations: in the Coliseum and by the shelter house. The shelter house location will be manned by the board of commissioners and MS Consultants personnel to answer questions and get input from the public. Those hours are 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday; and 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“These won’t be the final plans,” Stewart said, “but it will be a conversation starter. It will show people what’s possible — things that maybe people didn’t consider. It’s going to take a team effort.”
The commissioners hope to have the revitalization plans finalized by the end of the year.