Portage County Fair seeks $800,000 for new livestock building

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Portage County Fair building
The Portage County Randolph Fair is hoping to construct a 22,000 square foot Junior Fair Livestock Building to replace outdated swine, lamb and goat buildings. The new facility will also provide a larger show arena and auction ring. (Digital rendering submitted by Portage County Fair Board)

RANDOLPH, Ohio — The Portage County Randolph Fair is hoping to make some major upgrades by the 2019 fair season.

The fair is launching an $800,000 campaign to build a 22,000 square foot Junior Fair Livestock Building to replace outdated swine, lamb and goat buildings with a single building that will house all three species.

“We decided to put it all under one roof because it’s easier and it looks better,” said Tracey Koszalka, Portage County Fair Board president.

The new facility would also provide a larger show and auction ring.

“We have one of the largest junior fair livestock sales in the state and we have a tiny sale arena,” said Koszalka.

Also included in this campaign is providing heating and air conditioning to the Hubbard Building on the fairgrounds, making it available to the community for year-round events.   

This is the first time we are asking the community for help.

Funding

“This is the first time we are asking the community for help,” said Koszalka, who added the fair board typically takes care of new fair projects on its own.

Due to the size of the effort, the fair board hired Fair Funding out of Cincinnati, to execute a leadership assessment and campaign.

The assessment of 30 local businesses and community members found that individuals and companies were in full support of this campaign.

The fair board has committed $100,000 toward the $800,000 goal to get things started. Additionally, the 21 board members have committed to donating individually to the fund.

The campaign has also received the assistance of Bill Wallbrown of Deerfield Ag Services and Todd Brugmann from Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel as campaign co-chairmen.  

The fair board is asking for community support in the way of five-year pledges, which are 100 percent tax deductible. Gifts of corn and soybeans, land, stock and cash will also be accepted.

Construction

Demolition of the old buildings is proposed to begin after the 2018 fair season, and Koszalka is hopeful construction will be completed by early summer next year.

Phase two of the project is to add heating and air conditioning to the Hubbard Building on the grounds, which can be rented for weddings, graduation parties and other events throughout the year.

“The first thing is taking care of our kids,” said Koszalka.

“We are very excited for it, and I think the kids and 4-H advisers are excited for it was well.”

Making a pledge

A campaign fund is currently being set up through The Portage Foundation for the Portage County Randolph Fair project.

For more information on the campaign, contact fair board member Debi Heppe at 330-325-7476 or visit the fair website.

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