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Fundraising Begins For Fairgrounds Building

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

MALVERN - The Mills County Fair Board has started its fundraising effort for   the Mills County Community Center and Extension/Outreach building that  will  be constructed on the southwest corner of the Mills County Fairgrounds in Malvern.

 The 16,000 square-foot, climate-controlled building  will  be utilized for a variety of activities during the county fair, such as project judging, fair queen pageant, style and talent shows.  It  will feature a full kitchen, bathrooms, storage areas, utility room, attached bathroom and shower facilities.

 Woody Wright, a member of the fair board’s building committee, said the structure  will  be a “kid-first, 4-H building” but  will  also serve as an events center and large social hall that  would  be utilized 12 months out of the year. It would also serve as a storm shelter and a building for emergency housing.

“There isn’t another facility like this in Mills County,” Wright said. “It will be a permanent structure. Once people walk into it, they’re going to be  impressed.”

Members of the fair board’s building committee have met with the Malvern City Council and the Malvern Area Betterment Association. Both groups are supportive of the project, in part because of the economic boost it could give the community. Committee members noted the new structure  will  have minimal impact on the existing Malvern Community Building.

The Mills County Community Center and Extension/Outreach building  will  be funded through a combination of grants and private donations.  Some donors have already stepped up, but more are needed.
“With a lot of grants, you need to have some community support before you even apply,” committee member Chad McCollester said.

The project is expected to carry a price tag of $2.1 million.

The fair board’s building committee has been hosting a series of informational meetings about the project throughout Mills County. The last of four meetings is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Emerson Community Building.  The committee also plans to make presentations to local civic organizations and community groups interested in learning more about the project.

Additional information is available from the following building committee members: Woody Wright (402) 740-4028, Nathan Mass (712) 527-0319, Chad McCollester (712) 525-9201, Bob Blum (712) 520-6663 and Brady Smith (712) 309-5956. Inquiries may also be e-mailed to millscobldgcomm@gmail.com.