Improvements planned for WNC Ag Center, Farmers Market
The Mountain State Fair will look a little different next year, as two new buildings are planned for the grounds of the Western N.C. Agricultural Center in Fletcher.
A $3 million building will house arts and crafts during the fair, and will be available for rent the rest of the year for civic groups, churches, organizations, weddings and other events.
Construction of a livestock building costing $2.1 million is also scheduled. The building will increase the number of stalls available at the center.
“The additions we will be making will allow us to provide much needed space to expand existing livestock and horse events and draw new events that will bring more visitors from across the region,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said.
Other improvements are planned for the center, including a $7.5 million renovation of Davis Arena so that it can accommodate a wider variety of events.
A construction timetable for that project is not ready yet, said Kent Yelverton, director of property and construction for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The WNC Farmers Market in Asheville also is slated for renovations, including new restrooms in truck sheds 2 and 4, new ventilation fans in retail buildings A and B, and new roofs for the retail buildings and Wholesale Building No. 1. In addition, the main drive of the market will be paved.
“I made improvements to our western facilities a priority with the General Assembly,” Troxler said. “Thanks to the support of our Western North Carolina legislators, in recent years we have been able to secure more than $15.1 million in funding to do much needed upgrades at these facilities and our Western Diagnostic Laboratory in Arden.”
A $700,000 renovation of the lab is already under way and should be completed this fall, Troxler said. It involves replacing HVAC ducts and chillers, renovating showers, and installing a new fire alarm and sprinklers.