Barn returns, bigger and more expensive |

Barn returns, bigger and more expensive

Kathy Heicher

EAGLE – The livestock pavilion planned for the Eagle County fairgrounds is bigger and more expensive after being redesigned by a group of citizens. Initially, the talk was that the building was needed for 4-H children to raise their animals in; but the proposal has grown. It is now tentatively labeled as a “county multiple use building” that could host jackpot roping, barrel racing, indoor soccer and other events. Construction could start in September and be done January.Initially, supporters of the project had wanted to proceed with a 120 foot by 200 foot structure that would cost $1.9 million. What is proposed now is a 150 foot by 300 foot structure with an estimated cost of $2.5 million. That price does not include furniture, fixtures, or equipment; it does include about $428,000 for extension of utilities to the site.The metal building has increased in size from 2,400 square feet to 4,500 square feet since first proposed last fall.Runyon said he viewed construction of a pavilion at the fairgrounds as a boost to the county’s open space program. He said local ranchers would see the facility as a sign of support for the agricultural community, and suggested that they would be less likely to sell off their land to developers.”Some of our finest open spaces in the county are ranches,” he said. “One of the ways to preserve quality of life is to encourage ranching and a western lifestyle.”This $3 million building may very well save more land for us than Bair Ranch or Eaton Ranch,” Runyon added.Fellow commissioner Arn Menconi opposes the pavilion.”This looks like a $2 million riding arena to me,” he said. “I think the county has lots of competing needs.” One of those needs is a day-care center, he said. Vail, Colorado

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