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Part of county fairgrounds hall closed for safety

A portion of the Park County Fairgrounds’ Large Exhibit Hall has been closed to the public due to structural problems.

The hall’s eastern building, near the grandstands, was recently closed after a structural engineer hired by the county expressed concern with the roof, said Park County Commissioner Dave Burke. Burke said county employees had noted a few months ago that the roof on the building was sagging.

The other parts of the exhibit hall can continue to be used, Burke added.

Park County Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Dennis Spargur said the closure of the eastern building was made to be “playing on the side of caution.”

On Wednesday, Spargur was waiting for a final report from the engineer on the hall; he expected it to be completed in a few days.

Park County Commision Chairman Bucky Hall said commissioners would wait for that report before deciding what to do with the exhibit hall.

“We’re going to do it in a calm, rational planned-out manner,” Hall said.

Commissioners plan to tour the fairgrounds next week.

Burke said he knows the exhibit hall is heavily used by Park County residents and said the county could use this as an opportunity to build a better facility.

Hall said the problems would not stop the 2011 fair from taking place next summer.

“There is going to be a fair, for sure,” he said. “That (having no fair) would be the unthinkable.”

The county is continuing work on a series of upgrades to the fairgrounds’ electrical grid after a state inspection a year ago found a number of deficiencies.

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