Grandstand at fair to see updates

| September 23, 2016

COSHOCTON – For several years, the grandstand at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds has been in need of an update. With constant leaks and cracks in the walls, the grandstand was the top priority on the fairboard’s maintenance list. When the state offered all counties a $50,000 matching grant through its Ohio Agriculture Society Facilities Grant Program, the fair board decided to apply and use that money to renovate the existing grandstand.

“In March of 1954, the old wooden structure burned to the ground,” said Jim McClure, secretary of the fair board. “For 63 years, the current structure has survived pretty well with minimum maintenance.”

The Coshocton County Commissioners have committed the $50,000 as matching funds for the grant. Other organizations have donated money as well and include The Montgomery Foundation, The Coshocton Foundation, Kiwanis, Frontier Power Community Connections Fund, and individual and memorial donations. Private individuals have donated $2,177, and between private and organization donations, the fairboard has raised $159,677. The total cost of the project is $247,440.

“We haven’t promoted this too much to the public because people are tapped out when it comes to donations like this,” said McClure. “We were trying to see how much we could raise without publicity, but any donation from any club, group, organization, or individual would be greatly appreciated.”

Renovations to be done with the grandstand include roof replacement, replacing siding and hand rails, sandblasting the structure, painting the beams, tightening braces, new lighting, and replacing the south wall due to cracks caused by water collection.

“The public won’t see any updates for this year’s fair,” said Ward Karr, treasurer of the fairboard. “But we hope to get started right after the fair is over.”

McClure said that after this year’s fair, phase one of the project, which includes replacing the roof and siding, is slated to begin.

“The grandstand was the main item on our agenda,” said McClure. “It was something that had to be done.”

The $50,000 grant money is only available to county agricultural societies once every 20 years or so. The grant application was completed by McClure with assistance from Dorothy Skowrunski at the Coshocton Port Authority. Pat Kelly of Kelly Architectural Services, Inc. of Zanesville will be the architect for the project.

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    Josie Sellers

    About the Author ()

    I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!