Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Upgrades coming to Grant fairgrounds

Staff Writer | March 23, 2023 5:39 PM

MOSES LAKE — Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-April for a project to expand the number of horse stalls at the Grant County Fairgrounds. It’s part of an overall plan for improvements throughout the fairgrounds, which include construction of additional storage and a new bathroom in the commercial building.

Fairgrounds Director Jim McKiernan said 32 new horse stalls will be built on a section of the now-disused racetrack around the Moses Lake Roundup arena. Total project cost is about $200,000 for the construction and about $25,000 for stall mats, he said.

“Our goal is to get to 500 (horse stalls),” he said.

The current construction project will raise the amount of available horse housing to 446, McKiernan said.

The rise in materials prices didn’t stop the fairgrounds project, but did have an impact.

“Steel prices are way up,” he said.

The fairgrounds attracts a number of equine events, sometimes exceeding the number of stalls available, he said in an earlier interview. When there are more horses than places to put them, fairgrounds officials are required to rent accommodations, he said, but only one company actually is in that business and renting is expensive.

The new storage and bathroom construction was scheduled for completion in January.

“It’s not quite done yet,” McKIernan said. “It’s close.”

The project was delayed by materials shortages, he said. Plumbing fixtures are being installed this week.

The goal is to finish by mid-April, he said, when the building will be hosting some events. The new bathroom is located in what had been open space between the commercial and 4-H buildings. The project will connect the commercial and 4-H buildings, increasing its attraction as an events space, McKiernan said.

The floor of the horse barns will be paved with asphalt, which helps make them easier to clean and sanitize, he said.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

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