Tell the county your vision of fairgrounds' future
What would you like to see happen with the Washington County Fair Complex? The county wants to know in a new online survey.
The Washington County Fairgrounds Advisory Committee is looking for feedback on a series of changes the county could make at the fairgrounds in the next 10 years. The county is set to consider a new master plan, which looks at the future of the fair complex, 873 N.E. 34th Ave., Hillsboro.
The online survey is available at faircomplexfuture.com. The survey is open through May 31.
In addition to a new events center currently under construction, the fair is considering a variety of new buildings, as well as events and activities throughout the year, according to Fair complex spokeswoman Lisa DuPré.
One thing the county must address is the fairgrounds' aging buildings. Last year, the county closed its main exhibit hall, after inspectors said it was in danger of collapsing and posed "severe life-safety hazard to the public." The cinderblock exhibit hall was constructed in 1952, and fairgrounds officials have known for years that the facility was in need of repairs, but other buildings, include several livestock barns, need to be upgraded within the next few years as well. The barns are used by 4-H, FFA and other groups. DuPré said the fair will expand to 10 days long in 2020, compared to the current fair, which runs over four days in late July.
"There will be room for all animal events and exhibits," DuPré said.
The events center is expected to open in 2020. Perkins-Hagele said it will be the centerpiece of a revitalized Fair Complex. The county's master plan will focus on the western side of the fairgrounds, which includes the former Hillsboro Armory, and the former Tualatin Valley Garden Club demonstration garden. Both facilities were moved in the past year to make room for the expanded fairgrounds.
The fairgrounds are considering adding new bathrooms, an RV park and additional parking. There is talk of converting the armory into a maintenance facility and upgrading the Cloverleaf events center.
Survey results will be used as part of deliberations by the Fairgrounds Advisory Committee. The committee will make a formal recommendation to the county's board of commissioners later this year.
"We are excited to hear from community members about our proposed plan for the future of the fairgrounds" Fair Complex Manager, Leah Perkins-Hagele said. "These improvements will strengthen our ability to host a dynamic Washington County Fair and many other community events for years to come."
The county has been working on the master plan for more than a year. DuPré said more than 3,800 people took part in a planning effort in 2018.