In addition to a huge new grandstand, some North Dakota State Fair-goers will have even more to be happy about when they arrive for the 2010 fair in late July.
A new comfort station is being built in the west end of the west parking lot, where many livestock trailers and exhibitors are parked along with their RVs during the fair.
The comfort station will have separate men's and women's shower facilities and bathrooms, as well as a family-accessible shower area complete with infant tables and other amenities designed to make life easier on families "living" at the fair.
Contractors work on construction of a new comfort station in the west parking lot of the North Dakota State Fairgrounds Monday. Once complete, the station will be very useful, especially to families who stay in the RV and trailer parking area where the station is located.
In addition, a laundry area with two washers and two dryers will also be available.
Dennis Voeller, contract and event coordinator for the fair, said Tuesday that if all goes well, the station should be complete in time for the fair.
"That is our total intent with the schedule we're working," Voeller said. "If the weather holds, we should be sitting OK."
Progress hit a minor snag when the contractors ran into a "layer of black dirt" that Voeller said had to be excavated, slapping an additional $4,100 onto the project tab.
The project, which clocks in at a total in the neighborhood of $175,000, was funded in part by a $60,000 matching grant from the Garrison Diversion Conservancy district.
"The State Fairgrounds are an important asset to Minot," said Alan Walter, Ward County's representative for the district. "This is another step the North Dakota State Fair Association is doing to further enhance the use of the camping area to the west of the All Season's Arena throughout the year."
"An estimated 6,000 visitors annually will benefit from the construction of the new comfort station," said Dennis Wendel, State Fair Board member and LaMoure County's district director. "During the State Fair, 4-H and FFA participants and their families will benefit greatly from this facility."