TROY — A new restroom facility is under construction at the Miami County Fairgrounds thanks to a matching grant program offered through the state of Ohio.
The enclosed facility will be located east of the Pence building near the horse arena on the south end of the fairgrounds, according to Jill Wright, fair secretary and manager.
The facility will offer three women’s stalls and three men’s stalls — with two toilets and two urinals — with each side having handicapped accessibility at one stall, Wright said. There also will be three showers on each side for men and women, each again having one handicapped-accessible stall.
Wright said the facility will cost about $150,000-$160,000 to build, although final numbers are not yet available. Part of the money will come through an Ohio Department of Agriculture Capital Grant, which designated funding for improvements to fairgrounds throughout the state of Ohio in 2017. Wright said the Miami County Agricultural Society received $50,000 from the grant, which must be matched dollar-for-dollar.
Mendenhall Builders of Troy was awarded the contract for the project.
Wright said the Ohio Operating Engineers Association journeymen, who have volunteered to do other work on the grounds, have been doing some of the prep work for the facility, such as excavating, which gives them service hours and is saving the ag society money.
Wright said the footer is poured and expects the walls to begin going up in the next two weeks, weather permitting. In order to comply with the grant, the entire project must be completed by mid-June, Wright said.
Wright said with the new bathrooms, the ag society will be able to utilize the horse arena more.
“Right now, the closest bathrooms aren’t even within eyesight,” said Wright, who said the SOFA Quad State Roundup held at the fairgrounds annually uses much of that end of the fairgrounds for the event as well.
Campers who stay on the fairgrounds during fair time also will enjoy the upgrade, she said.
“This will be a big relief for the campers,” she said.
Roberta Jacobs, director, said all fairs in the state were offered the ability to apply for the grant in 2017, however many were unable to come up with the matching funds.
Wright said the Miami County Agricultural Society has financial security due to a supportive community and sponsorships, which allowed them to take advantage of the grant. She said beyond the fair, the ag society also brings in funding for storing campers and boats during the winter and rental of the buildings and grounds at all times of the year.
“That’s where we are blessed,” Jacobs said.
Both said they believe with the Miami County Commissioners’ guidance, the Miami County Agricultural Society members have been responsible in the decisions they have made throughout the years.
“As fair board members, I believe we have been good stewards of the money,” Jacobs said.
Along with the new bathrooms, the new sign that was put into place this past week also was a result of the grant, Wright said. The sign cost $35,000, but both Wright and Jacobs said it is money well-spent.
“I feel the sign will bring in more building rentals, and bring in more people during the different events, including the fair,” Wright said.
Jacobs said during the fair, they now will be able to alert the community of daily events during the week and showcase the sponsors that help bring the fair back year after year.
Reach Melody Vallieu at (937) 552-2131