Andrew J. Hunkins, LEED AP, Senior Project Manager at Corna-Kokosing contacted Farnham Equipment Company just days prior to the complete demolition of the old Groveport Madison High School, when he found out their Interkal Telescopic Bleachers were part of the demolition. He inquired of the possibility to remove the old Interkal Bleachers and have them stored for a later installation at the new Pickaway County Fairground’s Indoor Arena, ultimately saving thousands for the new facility.

The Pickaway County Fairground Revitalization project is relying heavily on private donors that have stepped up to support the initiative. Most of the existing structures on the grounds were built between 1940 and 1960 and have been long outdated and in poor condition, not to mention some of the structures have been deemed unsafe, therefore unusable. The Pickaway County Agricultural Society and the Pickaway County Commissioners partnered to revitalize the fairgrounds and make it a fresh focal point for the community.

“The new Pickaway Agriculture and Event Center will become a year-round venue for conferences, events, and concerts, in addition to its role as home to our annual County Fair. At the conclusion of the 2018 Fair in June, demolition and site work quickly began to ensure new facilities will be in place for the 2019 Fair. Facilities were designed to allow for greater access and way-finding (for both visitors and animals), additional convenient parking, and the ability to host more than one event at a time. A new Amphitheater will provide a setting for concerts, performances and community events/gatherings. Additionally, year-round utilization of the Multipurpose Arena for events will bring visitors to our region and showcase our vibrant community.” – Pickaway County Agricultural & Event Center (PAEC), Donor Opportunities

Knowing the impact of the cost savings for Pickaway County along with the impact on the community, Farnham Equipment Company agreed to act fast to remove the Groveport Madison High School Bleachers. David DeCan, Service Manager at Farnham Equipment Company, worked with his team to move the project forward quickly, but not without challenges. With the demolition already in progress, electricity was non-existing for the old building. Generators were used to provide lighting in the gymnasium, but the true challenge was that the bleacher required power to open and had to be open in order to disassemble and prepare for transport. But again, the power was already cut off.

The Service Team, never shying away from a challenge, got creative and rigged up a generator to 2-3 winches, typically used for basketball backstops, anchored them to the gym floor and ran cables up to the bleachers to pull them open. After removal of the bleachers in July 2018, they went into storage until the new Indoor Arena was ready in the spring of 2019.

As building plans progressed, Rocky Baker, Director of Service Operations, worked closely with the Pickaway County Commissioners on color selections and additional seating options. The previously used Interkal bleachers met the need for two bleacher banks in the facility, but two more would be necessary. As an exclusive Hussey Seating Company Dealer, Farnham Equipment Company was able to create a cohesive look for the new arena with two additional banks of Maxam26 Telescopic Bleachers with custom 4-H Green CourtSide Seats. When our team re-installed the used Interkal Bleachers, they were able to modify them for their new space, as well as give them a facelift with new Hussey Seating CourtSide Seats in matching 4-H Green, giving the feel of all new bleachers at a reduced cost for the PAEC.

***Video Courtesy of Pickaway County Fair: FEC’s Trent Baker, Senior Service Technician Demonstrates the upgraded Interkal Bleachers for proper operation and use. 

Outside of the new Indoor Arena is the new Outdoor Arena, complete with a SturdiSteel 10-row, non-elevated Aluminum Bleacher with a net seating capacity of approximately 385 including ADA seating.

As the 2019 Pickaway County Fair kicked off on June 15, patrons have access to Phase I of the new Pickaway Agricultural Event Center’s Multipurpose Arena, Show Pavilion, Outdoor Amphitheater, Restructured parking lots with dedicated spaces, picnic areas with surfaced walkways and new barns for cattle, hogs, horses, sheep/goats, and small animals.

With roots in both 4-H and Pickaway County, our team was honored to be part of the Fairground Revitalization project as we understand what the new PAEC represents, not only for our community, but for our children.

Pickaway County Fairground Revitalization: Blending Old & New

For additional photos of the Revitalization Project and Move in Day at the 2019 Pickaway County Fair, visit the Scioto Post coverage at the Pickaway Heritage Hall Ball and the Pickaway County, Ohio 4-H Youth Development Program pages.