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July 15, 2014

$780,000 fairgrounds expansion about to take off

DUNCAN — Expansion of the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center will cost at least $780,000, Fairgrounds Director Mike Anderson said  Monday.

Work on the project, which will add about 40,000 square feet to the facility, will begin in earnest next week, he said.

The price tag quoted on the project a month ago was $635,000, but Anderson said that figure did not include the costs of the plumbing and lighting infrastructure that will be needed.

Anderson hopes the expansion will act as a catalyst for further growth.

“Growth is always painful,” he said. “If we get the two events I am interested in, we would bring in at least another $2 million to Duncan every year.”

Some events that traditionally are hosted at the fairgrounds could outgrow the facility if changes aren’t made, county officials say.

“We have to do something, or we will lose our events,” Anderson said.

The expansion will enable the fairgrounds to add more livestock pens to the facility.

The building shell that will enclose the expansion will be completed in about two weeks, Anderson said.

Among the new events the Stephens County Commissioners hope to bring to Duncan is the American Bucking Bulls Inc. American Heritage event.

The event has been hosted by Guthrie, but Stephens County officials have been told the organization wants to change locations and would consider coming to Duncan.

The three-day event could bring about 1,000 visitors to the area.

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