EATON — The Preble County Fairgrounds has a new office complex building in time for the upcoming fair season. An open house for sponsors was held on Friday, July 13, followed by a public open house on Saturday, July 14.
Fairgrounds Manager Jim Shute explained, “The new building started over a year ago with designs and all that. [It was meant] to facilitate the Sheriff Department, the EMS, and the Fair Board. The Fair Board did not have a place to meet, they met in Bruner Arena, which was hot. Then in the winter we had to meet at the Extension Office in town.
“The building started in April and ended in the last week of July. The funding for this building came from several locations, but it was all private donations. Not a penny of county money went into this. I think this [building] is good for the whole community, because everybody takes pride in the fair.
“We’ve had a lot of people come through the fairgrounds. It draws people in and we’re going to allow them to use our conference year, which is going to bring more people into the area. We have the Expo Building expansion project that is going to bring more people in the area, to spend more money in Preble County, and bring more tax dollars.”
The addition of this building will mean a change for the Preble County Fair this year. Everything will be centered in one building. This will be a “one-stop shop” for the Sheriff Department, EMS, and Fair Board, making it easier for people to get what they need all at once.
“It is nicer for people to come in and get their building done. If you need to find an official at the Fair, you can find them right here,” Shute said.
“The open house tonight is for people who donated funds to build the building, as well as the contractor, engineer, and everyone else involved with the building. Tomorrow is open to the public, so everybody can come in and look at the building. Tonight, we are going to have a handing off of the keys. The contractor will hand the keys to the Fair Board.”
Major financial donors included Mary Bullen, Henny Penny Corporation, and Kettering Health Network. The general contractor for the building was Darrell Buckley. Architect/Engineer was J. Stephen Simmons. Exterior donors included Beoddy Oil Company, City of Eaton, Preble County Development Partnership, Silfex, Inc., TimkenSteel, Wagner Paving Inc., and Wood Propane. Interior donors included Ace Hardware, Garber Electrical Contractors, Inc., and Gillman Home Center.
Before the official key ceremony, Sheriff Mike Simpson said, “I think for several years, many of us have had a vision down here. A vision of updated facility which will allow us to provide services to those of us we serve every day. A vision of a facility that will serve, not only now, but for generations to come. A vision of a facility that Preble County can be proud of and that will be a cornerstone of the grounds. A facility that will house many offices and allow for one-stop shopping, so to speak.
“Tonight we stand here in this beautiful building, accumulation of partners coming together to achieve a common goal. Thank you for the investment in this building.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH