Down goes the floral building!

By Dean Shipley

February 5, 2014

With the take-down of the metal quonset-style youth arena and floral building at the fairgrounds, the sales committee of the Madison County ag society and the community are stepping confidently into a new era. It’s an exciting time said Darrel Champer, president of the sales committee.

“They’re stoked to get started. They’re hitting the go button,” Champer said on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

He had some regrets about not being present for the demolition, but duty called.

But sales committee member Doug Peterman and Madison County Commissioner David Dhume stopped by briefly to brave the cold and watch Brian Hunter tear down the structure. He said the building coming down represented foresight on the part of ag society members of the ’40s.

But as it comes down it signals the end of a building which had served its time, but the time had come to move on.

“It becomes a new beginning for our fairgrounds,” Dhume said. “The optimism and spirit everyone has with this project is exciting for our future. We hope to gather that spirit and keep it going.”

Going up in the next four months will be two new buildings which be as long as the no-longer-existing buildings — each 100 feet long — but 20 feet wider than the predecessors. The arena will be 90 feet wide and the office building will be 70 feet wide. They will contain amenities “for more general use,” Champer said.

The building replacing the floral building will not only include office space but also restroom facilities which will include showers and changing rooms. Champer said the 4-H participants will especially appreciate the latter.

The schedule for completion of the construction project exhibits the pro-activity of the sales committee as it has set a completion date of June 1.

Financial support for the $500,000 project is “on track,” Champer said.

Peterman said he is still receiving calls from people who want to give their support to the project.

“It’s a huge community drive,” Peterman said.

Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 17 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.