HURRICANE – A small crowd showed up Monday morning to welcome in the newest building at the Washington County Regional Park just in time for this year’s county fair opening Wednesday.
Washington County commissioners and mayors from surrounding communities participated at the ribbon-cutting ceremony from the Grafton Building at 5500 W. 700 South in Hurricane. The building will serve as a new exhibit hall for the fair and a future epicenter for the county.
“At a certain point in the county, this will be the center point of the county. Hurricane has lots of area to grow and population will be growing in that area,” Washington County Commissioner Zachary Renstrom said. “So, this will be a nice focal point for them to be in the next 20, 40, 50 years.”
The building will also house the Utah State University Extension Office currently in the Ridge Top Complex in St. George after the office was displaced by a fire in January 2014.
The Grafton Building will provide additional space for local activities as well, such as sporting events, Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson said.
The new building will be located near the existing exhibit hall and will provide 5,956 square feet of office space and 22,165 square feet of exhibit hall and associated areas. To boot, the building is the first of its kind at the park that has air conditioning, a feature the commissioners admit was badly needed during the summer months when many of the activities are held.
“This will be used constantly year around. The fairgrounds are used a lot already. It’s almost booked out all of the time,” Iverson said. “What this will help us do is, it will help us broaden the type of events that can come. It’s our first air-conditioned building out here as opposed to evaporative cooling so it will allow us to use (it) during the time of the year when it’s really hot. And while I recognize this may not be the center point of the county yet, as Hurricane and St. George and Washington continue to grow, this will become the epicenter of Washington County.”
Built in just a little more than four months, the construction deadline was Aug. 4. Watts Construction delivered the certificate of occupancy on that target date as expected by county officials, who took the time during Monday’s event to applaud the company’s owners for their timeliness and quality of work.
“It came together perfect and that’s why we annunciated each one of them (company’s owners and project managers),” Nicholle Felshaw, county commission administrator, said. The timely completion was so important we had to get it done for the fair so when we went into the project that was our goal and they came through.”
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