Agriplex open at fairgrounds

Jensen Jennings/Guernsey Gazette Members of the Platte County Fair Board welcome residents of Wheatland to the new Agriplex building. Fair Board Secretary, Beth Douglas, cuts the ribbon to welcome residents to the new facility.

WHEATLAND – On Thursday, June 10, the Platte County Fair Board officially opened the Agriplex building at the Platte County Fairgrounds to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Agriplex has been a project in the works for the past two years after the city of Wheatland passed a special use tax to help raise $3.5 million in funds for the project.

“We had a special use tax passed,” said Platte County Fair Board President Bill Klein. “We were having issues with the kitchen being outdated as well as the bathrooms and the building was tired.”

Construction began on the building in October of 2020. Klein said the board pushed the builders and told them they needed to have the building done by the summer and preferably before the Platte County Fair on July 21 and 22.

The Brown Family donated some money to the project to build a fireplace and purchase some chairs to go around the fireplace as well. The Johnson Family also donated some money to help pay for the new sound system in the building.

“We had two donors,” Klein said. “The Brown Family donated the fireplace and there’s going to be some chairs and stuff around here that they donated and also the Johnson Family donated some money to help us with the sound system.”

The Fair Board has also reached out to the local Art Guild to create various different works of art to be displayed throughout the facility. They are also working on building a green area out back which will have some picnic tables for families to enjoy.

A week after passing the tax, the Fair Board spoke to the architects and had them immediately begin working on a design for the Agriplex. The goal was to have the building built as quickly as possible and finished before the fair for the community to enjoy and to get an upgrade over the previous facility.

“That’s our goal, we want it furnished and we want it decorated, so we can have our first fair in it at the end of July,” Klein said.

With the new facility, the Fair Board will be able to rent the space out to more people and will now have the ability to host multiple functions at one time. There’s a large open common room, two different classrooms, new bathrooms, a brand-new state-of-the-art kitchen and a few other amenities for the community to take advantage of.

Klein said they have already had people reach out to them about hosting various events in the facility such as weddings and conventions.

“We designed the building so we could have four events go on at once if we have to, or to host a big convention,” Klein said. “We’ve already had two conventions booked for next year and we’ve got three others talking to us about dates. We feel [The Agriplex] is going to bring money to the community.”

Klein said the Fair Board has been asked to make the property self-sufficient and with this new facility they hope to bring people out to the fairgrounds to enjoy the property and the facilities even when it’s not fair season.

“Not everybody is involved in rodeo or showing animals, so [The Agriplex] will help to get those people to come out.” Klein said. “If anyone wants to book an event, they just have to go through the Fair Board Office.”

 

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