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Bids Chosen for Fairgrounds Buildings
Press conference on $950,000 project held Wednesday morning

By Megan Neis/C-T Staff Writer, Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Caption: Construction of two buildings at the future site of the Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fairgrounds will begin immediately and several local foundations have pledged over $1 million to assist in funding the project which will be located at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center. The Livingston County Fair is expected to operate at the new site next summer.

Bids from Copeland Development & Construction, Inc., and Morton Buildings, Inc., were accepted last (Tuesday) night during the Chillicothe R-2 regular monthly meeting. Specifically, Copeland Development & Construction Co., Inc., submitted a bid of $897,982 to build the large multi-purpose building at the future fairground site. This building includes a 80-feet by 100-feet enclosed area which will include a kitchen, an area for 4-H exhibits and a show arena which will be used during the fair and throughout the year for various
shows. Officials compared this area to a combination of the current show arena, cook shack and green building all in one location. On both sides of the enclosed area of this building, will be 100-feet by 100-feet buildings which will house livestock including hogs, sheep, goats, poultry and rabbits (everything but cattle and horses).

Morton Buildings, Inc. submitted a bid of $102,343 for a cattle building which was also accepted during the school board meeting. This building will measure 60-feet by 280-feet and will be an open-sided building, comparable to the current cattle barn at the fair. This bid also includes a 60-feet long covered walkway between the multi-purpose and cattle buildings. Also during phase one of the fair project, the existing arena at the current fairgrounds, including bleachers and fencing, will be moved to the new site.

According to Ron Wolf, co-director at the Grand River Technical School, dirt work at the site was completed by Crawford Construction who worked on preparing the site and roads. Construction is set to begin immediately. "This is an ongoing project and everything should be in good shape by fair time next year," Wolf said. Four local foundations and the Chillicothe Development Corporation have pledged over $1 million in funds for the project which is expected to cost $1,472,286.

Specifically, the Mervyn W. Jenkins Foundation has increased its original pledge of $600,000 to $725,000 for the fair project. The Litton Foundation has pledged a total of $400,000 to the project, with $250,000 to be paid by this July. An additional $50,000 will be contributed in 2007, 2008 and 2009. A total of $100,000 has been pledged by the F.M. and Gladys McCall Foundation for the fairground project. With this pledge, $20,000 will be paid by October 2006, and an additional $20,000 will be paid each year until 2010. The Roger A. Browning Foundation has pledged a total of $50,000 for the project and the Chillicothe Development Corporation has also pledged $50,000. CDC will pay a first installment of $10,000 and an additional $10,000 will be paid for the next five years. Additional pledges are also being accepted by the fair board.

Board members thanked all those working on the fair project for their continuing efforts. "Within the last month, there has been a lot of work done by a lot of people," R-2 Superintendent Dale Wallace said. Other bids were for the two building projects were submitted by Case Contracting LLC, Par Construction and Septagon Construction.

At the new fairgrounds, the county fair and the agricultural department at the Grand River Technical School will use the new and existing facility jointly, and once finished, the multi-purpose building will be made available to the public during the year for rental purposes.

The Litton Agri-Science Learning Center currently consists of 36 acres and features a classroom, laboratory and livestock facilities which are used by the agriculture students and FFA members throughout the year. Planning for moving the fairgrounds began several years ago and the fair board voted to pursue the idea in 2004. The fair board leases the current fairground site from the city.

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