Miami County considering costly rehab of fairgrounds’ grandstand

CONCORD TWP., Miami County – The Miami County commissioners are looking at a rehabilitation project for the early 1900s county fairgrounds’ grandstand, an endeavor that could cost around $1 million.

If work on assessing the structure begins soon, a project could be completed before the 2022 county fair. The fair is held in August at the Fairgrounds located just north of Troy along County Road 25A.

Chris Johnson, county facilities and operations director, said he; Jim Wilson, maintenance manager; county Administrator Charlotte Colley; and Nick Shellenberger, fair manager, walked the grandstand site following the end of the 2021 fair on Aug. 19.

“To do what we saw, I think you are pushing $1 million or maybe more. It needs a lot of work. It has been there since 1911,” Johnson said.

Exterior material crumbling and falling off the structure is a potential risk, Colley said. Other big issues are the steps and walls. “It is a beautiful structure, but there’s a lot of things that need to be dealt with in order to preserve it,” she said.

Before this year’s fair, a project was carried out to reinforce the grandstand’s roof structure following a look at fairgrounds buildings by the county building inspector and structural engineers from Shell and Meyer of Dayton.

The initial list of projects outlined by Johnson included first hiring an architect/engineer for a full grandstand assessment, timeline and cost estimates. Anticipated work includes removing seating for repair and sealing of concrete, repair/replacing concrete steps, exterior concrete repairs, perimeter clean up and restroom renovations.

Commissioner Ted Mercer said a contractor at the site this summer suggested a painting process to refresh the grandstand seats.

Other areas mentioned for attention included drainage improvements around the structure and lighting and sound system updates.

The commissioners also have been discussing a new building for the fairgrounds to replace the Secretary’s Office building, also dating to the early 1900s.

Conversations have been held with various agencies about making a one-stop center for agriculture-related agencies such as the Ohio State University Extension Office, Farm Bureau, and others.

The commissioners recently discussed possibilities for that building with the OSU Extension representatives. Candace Goodall, a Troy architect, was hired by commissioners this spring to provide preliminary design of a structure, a preliminary construction estimate and 3D presentation rendering,

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