Cooperative Extension pursuing building projects at Fairgrounds

Photo by Tom Rivers: These 4-H’ers in the grand master showmen competition lead llamas in the show ring on July 26. The Cornell Cooperative Extension is having a new Showplex built for the livestock shows.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 September 2019 at 8:53 am

KNOWLESVILLE – The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County is working on three building projects at the fairgrounds.

The organization next month expects to accept the construction bids for a new Showplex for livestock shows. The Cooperative Extension also is planning a new STEM shop and bathrooms that would be connected to the Curtis Pavilion, which last year added a new performance stage with dressing rooms.

The Showplex would be paid for with a $96,000 state grant. This is the second round of the state funding for upgrading facilities at fairgrounds. The first round paid for the Curtis Pavilion stage, an addition to the building, and some electrical work at the fairgrounds.

The Showplex will be a pole barn that is 60 by 100 feet, half the length of the current show arena, where llamas, alpacas and pigs also spend fair week. The Showplex will be about 50 feet south of the arena.

“This will move all of our livestock south of the creek,” said Robert Batt, executive director of the Cooperative Extension.

Having a facility dedicated to livestock shows and also the 4-H animal meat auction will free up room in the show arena for other animals to stay during fair week. The Extension plans to move the goats and sheep from the Knights Building to the arena.

Moving the goat and sheep from the Knights will create more room in that building for horses and also allow a practice area for 4-H’ers who show dogs, Batt said.

The Extension also is working on plans to put an addition on the Curtis Pavilion that would be a STEM Shop with space and equipment for the 4-H Robotics program. The STEM Shop would also be available for Extension staff and other programs.

Batt said donations already have come through to cover about 80 percent of the projected cost. The Robotics program has been meeting at BCA Ag Technologies on Route 31A in Barre.

The state has made a third funding round available with the Extension eligible for another $96,000 for the fairgrounds. The Extension is seeking final approval from the state for a project that would add new bathrooms and put in a raised septic bed. The bathrooms would be built next to the STEM Shop addition on the Curtis Pavilion.

Tim Gregoire Construction in Holley works on new addition to the Curtis Pavilion in May 2018. Plans include extending the building to add a STEM Shop and bathrooms.

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