Newest Building Brings Another 'Wow Factor' to Nebraska State Fair
By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
As Chelsey Jungck marks her new carpet with masking tape, she still has to imagine where the furniture goes.
But new offices take the guesswork out of planning for Nebraska State Fair staff, who got accustomed to laying out a fair from afar.
Jungck, the events and entertainment coordinator said, "We've worked a lot off aerials of the fairgrounds, off of maps, being out here on site and be able to walk to a place we're laying out and planning, that's going to be awesome."
A million visitors have passed through the grounds, but fair staff never had offices on site, until now, as they move into the Nebraska Building.
Executive Director Joseph McDermott said, "We've been in Grand Island for four years and it's nice to finally have a location we can call home."
The building is much more than offices, with two huge new attractions.
McDermott said, "We think Game and Parks exhibit and University of Nebraska exhibit will be wow factor for 2014 Nebraska State Fair."
And while the fair staff moves in, the other new tenants have to wait for their areas to be completed, with their own construction to do. "It's going to be tight, of course that's usually the way it works. That's why they're chomping at the bit to get over and get started," McDermott said.
The Game and Parks exhibit will be on one side, and the other will be the huge Nebraska Agriculture Experience.
Jungck said, "I think you could spend a couple of days at either area at the fair."
The $5.5 million dollar building is the final piece of the original plan. Under the gun to build a fairgrounds from scratch in a year to be ready by 2010, they waited on the last building.
With four years of strong attendance and high satisfaction surveys, the building is a testament to the fair's acceptance in Grand Island.
"It's going to be a great addition to the fair," Jungck said.
The Agriculture Experience will feature tons of interactive exhibits, while Game and Parks will have fish in indoor and outdoor areas.