Local

First part of Hamilton County Fairgrounds upgrade given go-ahead

A view of the Hamilton County Fairgrounds on Aug. 31, 2022, in Noblesville, Indiana. (WISH Photo)

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (Hamilton County Reporter) — Hamilton County Commissioners and county 4-H officials agreed Monday to proceed with what is called Phase 1A of a fairground redevelopment plan.

The $15 million Phase 1A will include construction of a “Bicentennial Building” to replace the O.V. Winks Building and annex. Groundbreaking on that project should take place this year.

According to Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt, the full first phase is estimated at $26 million, which it why this is being called Phase 1A. Heirbrandt also told The Reporter there has been no investment into the fairgrounds for 15-20 years.

The fairgrounds and its various buildings are used frequently by community organizations, public and private organizations and more. Future plans for the property include making it even more of a community center used potentially for a variety of both public and private events.

Heirbrandt said they are working with the Noblesville city government to maximize the economic impact of the upgraded fairgrounds.

Approval is subject to changes that may be discussed in a joint meeting with the County Council in March.

These structures will be removed for construction of a widened Pleasant Street: The current maintenance building will also be replaced, the Llama Barn will be upgraded, and drainage systems will be improved on the grounds as part of the initial project.

Commissioners are also planning renovation of the former Humane Society animal shelter adjacent to the fairgrounds for county office use.

Work is set to begin this spring at the fairgrounds located at 2003 E. Pleasant St. in Noblesville. Future phases of the overall redevelopment will follow in coming years.

In their regular Monday meeting, commissioners also made appointments to various boards and commissions where terms expired with the new year. Dan Stevens was appointed to the Riverview Health board replacing the retiring Steven Holt, and also appointed Stevens to the county Redevelopment Commission replacing Terry Prather. Dr. Tim Fleck was appointed to the County Board of Health to fill a vacancy on the seven-member board. Brad Beaver was appointed to the Community Corrections advisory board as County Council representative replacing the retiring Steve Schwartz.

All county department heads were reappointed for the year.