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Langlade County News

Saving Langlade County Fairgrounds Show Ring Studied

January 31, 2012

Just weeks after the Langlade County Board of Supervisors doomed the 1924 livestock building at the fairgrounds, people who want to save a least part of it are working at a hectic pace.

The county decided in late 2011 that the livestock building needed to be replaced with a new structure using a blend of private funding, cash-on-hand and insurance settlements. Now the wheels are turning with hopes of having it standing on the north end of the fairgrounds when the 2012 exposition opens in late July.

But that torrid pace means that the old livestock building must be razed, and some members of the Langlade County 4-H program and its friends who have great memories inside those walls want to save at least part of the structure.

In the past few days a plan to remove the four wings from the barn and then move the center show ring to the northwest corner of the grounds has been proposed.

A representative of Schuette Movers of Wausau was here Thursday afternoon to prepare a preliminary cost estimate on moving the huge and heavy building a few hundred feet northwest of the current location.

Nick Salm, who has been working on the relocation and restoration project, said he met with Schuette representative and the center ring of the building is — indeed — large.

It is estimated that the center of the building is 45 high and octogon-shaped base is 65 feet wide.

Frank Pearson from Schuette’s said it was possible to move the structure and the only impediment in the shift is a power line.

Salm said he met with the Fairgrounds Advisory Committee Thursday afternoon to explain plans to save the building.

Salm was concerned that the county may have already made an agreement to demolish the livestock building, and that deal would need to be put on hold during the accelerated planning and fundraising phase.

He said that based on an review and testing, it is likely a very “restorable building.”

“The building will need a new roof and some structural work along with tender loving care to make it a showcase of history at the fairgrounds,” he added.

“There is a great deal of sentimental value for the building by lots of families,” he said. “It reminds me of the bandstand when we first started the restoration project and many people said it wasn’t worth saving. With involvement of many citizens, it is now a community showplace.”

Armed with an air of confidence, Salm is doing the groundwork to see if the dairy show arena restoration is possible.