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Construction of a 40,000-square-foot livestock pavilion is expected to start in late March at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.
The pavilion will provide a permanent structure to house cattle during the State Fair of Virginia. The building permit application for the structure states the cost will be $718,000, said Kevin Wightman, Caroline County building official.
When asked if the new structure will add to the county’s tax base, Sharon Carter, Caroline commissioner of revenue, said, “Yes, once the building is built, it will be assessed and tax applied. Exactly what the assessment will be is yet to be determined.”
During the remainder of the year, the 40,000-square-foot First Bank & Trust Livestock Pavilion will serve as a covered arena for horse shows, rodeos, canine agility competitions and other events.
The livestock pavilion has been designed to complement existing buildings at The Meadow. State Fair President Jeff Dillon said it will be similar in style to the historic horse stall barns on the property. Construction will begin by the end of the month, and the building is expected to be completed in time for the 2014 State Fair, which will run Sept. 26 through Oct. 5.
“This is a much-needed addition to this beautiful 330-acre property,” said Glenn Martin, State Fair livestock and equine events manager. “It will enhance our facilities and give livestock a permanent home during the State Fair.”
State-level 4-H and FFA livestock shows are held at the State Fair each year, and winning youth receive more than $70,000 in scholarship money. Other livestock events are held during the fair as well. The building was approved by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board of directors at its Jan. 23 meeting, and a contract was signed with RGM Erectors Inc. of Wythe County. RGM was involved in construction of the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. First Bank & Trust Co. has secured naming rights for the building over the next decade.
“Construction of the new First Bank & Trust Livestock Pavilion represents continued commitment to the State Fair of Virginia by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation,” which owns both the fair and The Meadow, Dillon said. “The pavilion will improve the fair experience for both exhibitors and fair patrons alike.”
The Meadow Event Park is the birthplace of Secretariat and home to the State Fair of Virginia. It is operated by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which is committed to preserving Virginia’s rich agricultural heritage and ensuring that The Meadow thrives as a regional event and equine venue.