Coverage by KVOE!!

Massive renovation project announced for Anderson Building

July 16th, 2014
Written by Chuck Samples
Lyon County commissioners Scott Briggs (from left), Rollie Martin and Dan Slater listen to details of the Fairgrounds Anderson Building improvement project unveiled Wednesday during the commission’s weekly study meeting. Photo by Chuck Samples/KVOE News.

Two years ago, Lyon County tried unsuccessfully to garner a state grant to help improve the Fairgrounds Anderson Building. Commissioners tweaked their proposal last fall, only to have the state deny the grant application again a few weeks ago.

The project is moving forward now as a partnership between the county, city of Emporia, Jones Trust, Lyon County Fair Board and at least one anonymous donor.

The roughly $1.1 million project is led financially by $600,000 in county sales tax funds, along with $400,000 from the Jones Trust, an estimated $100,000 from the city for water and sewer improvements and a $50,000 matching grant from one unnamed donor for “functionality enhancements.” County Commissioner Rollie Martin says the sales tax is an existing revenue stream, meaning no new tax money will be used for the work.

Assistant City Manager Jim Witt says the city’s side of the partnership came to fruition fairly rapidly.

The Fairgrounds Improvement Committee has studied how best to improve the Anderson Building for two years now. Member Brian Keith says everybody will benefit from the partnerships now in place.

The Anderson Building was constructed in 1969. An addition was built in 1993. Upgrades will include moving the bathrooms from the southeast corner to the west side, adding a kitchen and small meeting room, adding a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, installing a new roof and creating a new exterior among other upgrades.

BG Consultants’ Bruce Boettcher says the planned improvements will enhance the building’s functionality. He says there are some adjustments after the state turned down the county’s grant application earlier this year.

Other enhancements could be coming from the anonymous donor. Lyon County Extension agent Brian Rees.

The county grant application was turned down two years ago because, at the time, the state said more information was needed about Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades. The denial earlier this year came after the state said the county didn’t demonstrate the need for improvements and also because the state said Lyon County effectively could handle the project financially on its own.

Design work continues as artist renderings were unveiled Wednesday during the County Commission study meeting. The plan now is to bid by early November, start footings by December and finish the project by July — in time for the 2015 Lyon County Fair.

The Anderson Building is heavily used. Rough estimates from the county have at least 45 non-private events per year covering 115 days and bringing in around 25,000 people per year.

To donate, call the Emporia Community Foundation at 342-9304. For information, also go online to Make sure checks are payable to “Anderson Building improvements.”

Interim Fairgrounds Manager Sam Seeley will join KVOE’s Morning Show at 8:15 am Thursday with more details.

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Anderson Building updates looking favorable




Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:15 am | Updated: 10:23 am, Thu Jul 17, 2014.

By Jesse Murphy

Big changes are in store for the Anderson Building on the Lyon County Fairgrounds.

The Lyon County Commission heard from Bruce Boettcher with BG Consultants about upgrades to the Anderson Building during their study session on Wednesday.

Boettcher revealed the plans to revamp the building that is now more than 40 years old. The anticipated cost is roughly $1 million.

Built in 1969, with the north addition built in 1993, the building is in disrepair after years of use.

Funds for the project are mostly from grants, but some monies will come from the county.

“Financially, as far as funding this project, we have a $400,000 match with the Jones Fund,” county controller Dan Williams said. “It all comes from sales tax. Any amenities we add to this we’re hoping will come from private donations.”

The county will match the Jones Fund monies with $600,000 from sales tax revenue, while the City of Emporia will contribute water and sewer upgrades to the facility.

“I think that the key word is partnership …” Commissioner Scott Briggs said. “It just shows that the city and the county are working together now.

“You throw the dispatch consolidation, plus this and many other things, we’re really starting a partnership. It’s good to see the fair board and the Extension Office in this.”

Currently, the building has a 20-year-old heating and air conditioning system and a leaking roof, resulting in damage to the ceiling and walls.

One of the biggest issues is that the building is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The upgrade will not only fix that, but enhance accommodations.

An average of 45 events per year are held in the Anderson Community Building, encompassing an average of 115 days a year.

That amounts to about 25,000 people each year that walk through the doors.

Boettcher said that the million dollar upgrade will include ADA-compliant entryways, restrooms, kitchen and conference room space.

A new HVAC system, new roof and the water and sewer lines will also make the building more efficient, reducing maintenance costs.

Another $50,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor is to be used for functional enhancements. This would include things like new lighting and a sound system.

“This supporter really wants to see the functionality of the building enhanced,” Lyon County Extension agent Brian Rees said. “It really adds to the ability to attract community activities.”

The building is frequently used for private events. All involved agree that upgrades will allow more events to take place there.

“We all know those events draw dollars into the community,” Rees said.

Lyon County 4-H clubs use the building several times a year.

“The youth use this building a lot,” Extension Agent Corrine Patterson said. “We typically use it for 4-H when it wouldn’t normally be used. Weeknights and weekdays, it’s a really great facility and we’re excited that it can be utilized for other things, too, if these improvements get approved.”

During the Family Fun night Aug. 3, extension agents and officials will be available to answer any questions from the public. Architectural renderings will also be on display from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

There will be several meetings to talk about design, however county officials are looking to send a notice for bids in late October.

If the commission goes ahead with the plans, construction will start in November and the entire upgrade would be done by mid-July of 2015.

“We have a lot to do to make this a quality asset for the fairgrounds, the county and the city,” Commission Chairman Rollie Martin said.

“The Anderson Building is an overlooked asset to the community,” commissioner Dan Slater said. “But there are things that really need to be done.”

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Marquee Posting

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