A number of buildings at the Morrill County Fairgrounds will be replaced under a plan unveiled Thursday as Platte Valley Companies announced a $100,000 donation toward the project.
Under the plan, the county seeks to replace the exhibit hall, which has no insulation and gets excessively hot or cold depending on the season, and has a 4-H kitchen that’s no longer up to code.
Lewis Coulter with Platte Valley Bank says it’s just not adequate anymore. “It’s un-insulated. It gets really, really warm in July during fair, but it really, REALLY warm. In wintertime, We have to shut off the water. It’s not very usable in the wintertime for very many different things. Our kitchen, the 4-H kitchen does not meet code. It’s just not a very practical, functional building at this point,” said Coulter.
Morrill County Board Chair Jeff Metz says the plan is to break ground on the new exhibit hall in August-September this year, as the efforts ramp up to raise the $3.5 to 4 million needed for the project.
Several of the existing livestock barns would also replaced with a large multi-species exhibit barn. Coulter noted those existing livestock barns have also seen better days.
“We can’t move animals very far or very much. Animals stand out in the sun too long on show day. Our electricity, we blow fuses or now breakers all the time, constantly. And our wash rack has turns into a big lake at fair,” Coulter said, “So we have lots of reasons to change and to upgrade. We think our community deserves better, our 4-Hers, our children deserve better and our volunteers deserve better.
Completion of the new buildings would take place in stages over the next few years, with the new exhibition all to be constructed first.