The Woodward News

October 30, 2012

County officials see preliminary design for fairgrounds

Chris Cooper
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — When it comes to the renovation of the county fairgrounds, Woodward County Commissioners don't want the new design to overlook parking.

The commissioners received a update about design proposals for the fairgrounds improvement project during their regular meeting Monday morning.  The proposed designs were presented by representatives from Architects in Partnership, the architecture firm handling the project designs, and the Fairgrounds Improvement Authority, the local board established to oversee the project.

Design plans presented Monday morning call for the demolition of the current structure that houses offices for the OSU Extension Center and the DA's Bogus Check Division.  This facility will be replaced with a new 75,000 square-foot multi-purpose arena, which will include new office space for both the OSU Extension Center and the Bogus Check Division.

The plans also propose the removal of the 2nd (middle) fair barn, to provide an outdoor courtyard area for livestock washing during livestock shows as well as possible location for some outdoor vendors during trade shows. However, the fair barns 1 and 3 would remain, but would be refurbished to match the new multi-purpose arena.

While they appreciated the designs, the commissioners said they were more concerned about the utility of the facility rather than the aesthetics.

In particular they requested the architects consider cutting back on some of the aesthetic parts of the design, such as reducing the size of the sidewalk entrance for the proposed arena, in order to maintain more parking spaces.

The commissioners were also concerned about removing the second fair barn and how it would cut back on the space available for housing animals during livestock shows.

C.J. Montgomery, with Fairgrounds Improvement Authority, said that the designs were preliminary and that he was sure the architects would take the commissioners' concerns into consideration when making revisions to the designs.

The commissioners said they understand that the architects are working with limited space and do appreciate their efforts to update the fairgrounds.  Or as Commissioner Vernie Matt said, "That's what we've got to deal with, so we'll make the best of it. It's definitely an improvement on what we have now."

County Clerk Charolett Waggoner said Monday's presentation was held primarily to gain the commissioners' input on the proposed designs, so no action was taken in regard to the preliminary plans.

In other business, the county board approved the appointment of Tammy Roberts to fill the unexpired term of retiring court clerk Jenny Hopkins. Roberts is set to be sworn in this Thursday Nov. 1 as Hopkins' retirement becomes effective on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

In addition to the appointment of Roberts, Wendy Dunlap, the purchasing agent for the county commissioners, was also appointed as the new receiving agent for the utility accounts in all 3 county districts.

The board likewise approved: the EMS and jail monthly reports, a utility permit request from Northwestern Electric for an overhead power crossing in the southern part of the county, as well as resolution officially making county road speed limits 55 mph unless otherwise posted as requested by ODOT.