The story of the Montgomery County Fair these days is a story of not one, but two locations: A new Fairgrounds location and the historic home of the Fairgrounds.
In May, the board responsible for the Fair voted to move the event to Arthur O. Fisher Park in Jefferson Twp., leaving behind the South Main Street location that had been the Fair’s home for more than a century.
Here are five things to know about the multi-faceted project that has implications across the county.
1. Work on the new fairgrounds has started.
Work both on new buildings at the 130-acre new home of the event and on roads around the site have either started or soon will.
The Montgomery Country Transportation Improvement District (TID) late last month applied for a commercial building permit for an events center and small animals barn at the new fairgrounds location at 645 Infirmary Road.
The application appears to be for a building shell only, in its footing and foundation phase. Centerville’s Dryden Builders Inc. is the contractor while the owner will be the Montgomery County Agriculture Society.
2. Redevelopment of the historic site is a chance to ‘dream big.’
Some 300 people gathered at the former Fairgrounds last week to share ideas on what to do with the land left behind.
Premier Health and University of Dayton — joined in the Fairgrounds Redevelopment Ltd entity — are only starting to draw up development plans for the site just south of downtown Dayton, which they bought in April, Reporter Kaitlin Schroeder reported.
Premier Health CEO Mary Boosalis told attendees the timing for the project is good because it will build on the momentum of other developments happening around the city.
“Let’s dream big,” Boosalis said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
3. Your input is still sought.
If you didn’t make Thursday’s evening, take heart: Your ideas are still welcome.
Even if you weren’t able to make the meeting, there’s still a way to offer your thoughts. You can visit FairgroundsToFuture.org.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Fair events still have a place at the historic site — for now.
The county Agricultural Society, which oversees the fair, will remain on the property on South Main Street until next spring.
“The community’s favorite events will remain on the property throughout the winter,” the Fairgrounds To Future web site says. “The staff, and the annual events, will move when the new fairgrounds opens at Arthur O. Fisher Park in Jefferson Township.”
5. So what will happen with the Roundhouse?
It is to be preserved, according to the terms of the sale to Premier Health and the university.
The question is whether the historic building will remain where it is or if it will be moved. Either way, the new owners say, the building will be restored to “historical standards.”