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Livestock barn will be torn down

The Clackamas County Event Center’s 90-year old livestock barn has seen its last county fair.

County commissioners voted last week to demolish the 50,000-square-foot building, which has deteriorated to the point it was unsafe.

The demolition, including grinding up the structure’s concrete floor, needs to start by June 25 and finish no later than July 15.

“We will put up temporary steel frame structures in its place,” said Laurie Bothwell, event center director. “The animals will be housed on the same footprint as the old barn.”

One temporary structure will be 20,000-square-feet and the other, 10,000-square-feet.

"Once they are on the grounds, we hope to put them up in 48 hours," Bothwell said. "I hope to have those up by July 23."

The commissioners received four bids for the demolition. The lowest bid — $97,333 — came from 3 Kings Environmental, of Battleground, Wash.

The other bids were Mallon Utility Inc., $224,537; Duke Construction, $145,000; and Konell Construction Co. Inc., $112,717.

Fair officials first closed the 130-by 320-foot barn as a safety precaution during the early February snowstorm. When subsequent inspections raised more safety questions, it stayed closed.

In the meantime, events scheduled at the livestock barn have been moved to other locations on the fairgrounds. The April 26 Oregon Spring Poultry Swap had to be moved to the Polk County Fairgrounds.

Bothwell said that if the demolition could be finished by July 11, the 4-H Horse Fair could be held on the barn site. Otherwise, it will be moved to the parking lot on the west side of the fairgrounds.

The 130-by 320-foot barn built in 1924 could be considered the heart of the Clackamas County Fair. It houses all the fair’s four-legged entries as well as many other events throughout the year.

It has been the main venue for sheep, goat, cattle, horse, swine and llama shows as well as 4-H calf sales, rabbit shows, horse fair and tack sale. It also is used for dog shows and competitions, car shows and the flock and fiber shows.

But time has taken its toll. In recent years, the building has been plagued with leaky roofs, rotted wood, foundation displacement and an antiquated electrical system.




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