Flathead Co. Fairgrounds improvements behind schedule


Flathead Co. Fairgrounds improvements behind schedule

KALISPELL, Mont. - With the fair just two weeks away, crews are scrambling to finish up work at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Construction started in June on the grandstands and utility lines, but is yet to be completed.

"We need to get done, cleaned up and it's going to be tight -- much, much tighter on our schedule than we had originally intended," said Fairgrounds Manager Mark Campbell.

Campbell walked us through the construction site, and showed us where the final stage of construction is taking place. Currently there's a large pit in the ground where a handicapped seating area will be built.

"We are still working on the final component of that, it's a real important part to us and that is the seating for the disabled," said Campbell.

The big question everyone wants to know is whether the project will be done in time for the fair. Fair officials say that answer is yes.

"We're going to run this right up to the wire, our deadline is August 6, so that way we've got plenty of time, a couple to three days before our first activity, which really is a pre-fair activity August 9," said Campbell.

The new disabled seating area is already 45 days behind schedule because of bad weather and the discovery of some rotted wood that had to be replaced.

The project's total budget is just over $600,000, but despite the setbacks, everything has come in on budget.

"The infrastructure project came in right on target and actually right on schedule. The grandstand project is right on budget, but definitely not on schedule," said Campbell.

Other improvements to the grandstands are now complete, they include a new roof and LED safety lights.

Despite the grandstands, Campbell says everything is ready to go.

"It's like throwing a big party for 70,000 of your friends and neighbors and there will be some things that won't be accomplished, but hopefully they aren't noticed," said Campbell.

The other major project at the fairgrounds this summer was work done to the water and sewer lines. That project was completed Monday when new asphalt was poured.

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