New projects at fairgrounds

Tom Ripley of Ripley & Sons Excavating levels the floor of the goat, sheep and swine arena. Ripley & Sons is a subcontractor for the arena project, but Ripley also contributed volunteer time to do grading for the new water lines and to fix fences at the fairgrounds. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The NCW Fairgrounds has been a busy place this spring as four improvement projects around the grounds are underway.

The projects include a new rabbit and poultry barn; a show cover for the goat, sheep and swine arena; a new automatic irrigation system in the carnival area; and a new irrigation supply line accessing a decommissioned town well behind the fairgrounds.

The total cost for the projects is over $300,000, with almost $50,000 of that funded by a state grant. About $28,000 was donated by the Friends of the NCW Fair. The remainder of the funds comes from the county’s current expense budget.

The new barn replaced a structure that was put together with two separate lean-to structures between 40 and 50 years ago. The roof leaked and the building often got very hot because its short roof didn’t allow for much air circulation.

The new building has more floor space and the height is double that of the former one. The barn now stands above the other exhibit buildings. It was constructed on a base of shale that was brought in to raise the floor area higher and prevent snow runoff from entering the building through the floor. It will have big exhaust fans at each end for air circulation. The building will be painted a barn red color. Gradually the other barns at the fairgrounds will also be painted to match.

The project has been in the works for over a year, and its completion depended on a lot of volunteer hours on the part of fair board members. They demolished the old rabbit and poultry barn and helped construct the shale foundation. Bishop Contracting out of Olympia is the general contractor.

The other projects have likewise been in the works for about a year. The new show ring cover replaced a shade net. The contractor is Elite Woodworking.

The new water line will make use of non-potable water to provide a greener look and to take pressure off the town’s limited potable water supply.

All of the projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.