New additions to the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds will be coming thanks to grant monies, generous sponsors, and the hard work of many. Northwestern Wisconsin State Fair Executive Director Rusty Volk, says that this project is designed for the future of agriculture.
“Five new buildings will be built to replace older ones,” says Volk. “We received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant that we will use for one of the five buildings to serve as a shelter for our county throughout the year.”
The FEMA grant building project is part of a much larger project which has been ongoing for the past six years. The full project will include two cattle barns, a small animal barn, the Custer Coliseum, and the FEMA designated safe room. The coliseum will be a space that can host events year round and contain the safe room as well as showers, restrooms, and concessions.
“Three days after the 2022 fair, we started demolishing the barns because we had a plan in place and we had most of the funding in place already as well,” Volk adds. “We’re very fortunate that we have a philanthropic community.”
At the beginning of 2020, the project was slated to be a five and a quarter million dollar project. However with the increased price of lumber and other products, the project cost went up 15% to just over $6 million.
The cattle barns are currently being constructed and Volk says the entire project is on track to being completed before the 2023 fair.