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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