Quonset Hut and livestock buildings first to go under fairgrounds master plan
County Council approves phased construction
Coalville Mayor Trever Johnson has attended dozens of meetings over the last three years, pleading with Summit County to keep the fair in its current location.
Last year, the county purchased two properties adjacent to the current fairgrounds in Coalville and began working on a master plan for the new site, which nearly doubled in size. Several meetings were held and widely attended by East Side residents, including Johnson.
“I didn’t care what the changes were at the new site as long as it stayed here where it has always been,” he said. “Hopefully, later down the line we can get some more amenities for the city
The Summit County Council on Wednesday gave county staff the go ahead to start the first phase of construction on the fairgrounds after the 2017 Summit County Fair. County Council members unanimously approved the fairgrounds master plan, to be completed over the course of roughly 10 years.
“The council’s approval of the master plan gives us, more or less, the visionary document on how we will proceed with the whole property,” said Matt Jensen, the county’s risk and procurement administrator and project lead. “Our goal is to get the architect and general contractor under contract very shortly to start demolition right after the fair.”
The Quonset Hut, one of North Summit’s most popular facilities, would be among the first buildings demolished during the first phase of construction. The playground, pavilion and livestock buildings would also come down. A new access road, multi-purpose building and associated plazas would be constructed in their place.
“Replacing the Quonset Hut was something no one questioned,” Jensen said. “The preservation of the amenities that have been contributed by the community or the community uses, such as the sledding hill, were also important to the public. We wanted to make sure not to take away any of those.
“With the master plan and phased approach, we can further develop and gauge what the most appropriate facilities will be,” he said.
Jensen said funding for the first phase of construction, approximately $5 million, will come from Transient Room Tax and Restaurant Tax revenues. The Transient Room Tax is a .1 percent sales tax on all overnight stays. The county annually receives 10 percent of these revenues. The restaurant tax is collected from one percent of prepared food sales.
“The master plan suggests phases that are all dependent on county budgeting, as well as revenues coming in from some of the stakeholders,” Jensen said. “The source of that $5 million is coming from funds that were set aside and built up particularly for the fairground project.”
The plan shows the next phases occurring two-to-10 years later. A new softball field, associated parking, trails connections, a gazebo near the multi-purpose building, concrete plazas, pathways, and a playground would replace the western ballfield, grandstand and rodeo warm-up arena.
The design relocates the rodeo and warm-up arena to the new parcel, along with an overflow parking lot for contestants. The carnival and vendors would be relocated to the space currently occupied by the rodeo and warm-up arenas, while the existing fairgrounds would feature permanent animal shelters, an outdoor amphitheater and pavilion, and multi-purpose building.
“We’ve had a lot of public interest in this project and there is no small reason for it. This was first discussed over 20 years ago and is something that residents of the county have had a vested interest in,” Jensen said. “This is a sigh of relief. As we move forward over the next four or five months, we will start to really bring that vision out, with community stakeholder involvement.”
Travis English, Summit County Fair coordinator, said the scope of the project somewhat changed over the last several months to reflect the “greatest needs of the fair.”
“I do believe it will satisfy the community. I think people will be excited about it,” English said. “We had so much community involvement from stakeholders and people in South Summit and Park City. I think we found something that everyone has been looking for and I definitely love it and am excited to get going on it.”
For more information about the design, go to http://summitcounty.org/802/Summit-County-Fairgrounds-Master-Plan. To see the staff report prepared for this meeting, go to http://summitcounty.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03152017-1108?html=true.
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A gas leak forced the evacuation of North Summit High School and North Summit Middle School Monday afternoon in Coalville. No injuries were reported.