The Webb County Fairgrounds project is behind schedule


The Webb County Commissioners Court received an update on Monday regarding the Webb County Fairgrounds project that was reportedly 60% complete with civil work plans, but still lacked a meaningful update from the project’s architects.

Fairground project engineer Judd Gilpin acknowledged that the team was behind and is currently working to catch up. He attributed the delay problems to the rate of inflation and the county’s tight budget.

Meanwhile, the civil plan update means that between the water and sewer lines to the preparation of the ground elevation, Gilpin believes the plans could be finished by the next commissioners’ meeting in the coming weeks. Once the plans are complete, the quick follow-up ideas for civil works can begin.

Along with this update, he added that demolitions would have to be undertaken, with the biggest item to be removed being a large stable.

Gilpin suggested the county approach a local salvager who had already been hired to scrap the remaining stable. He said it would help the county save funds by removing the barn themselves. He encouraged the county to quickly address the salvage issue to begin landscaping the area.

According to John C. Galo, County Commissioner, the lack of presentation by the architects and the lack of concept drawings and layouts were disappointing after he repeatedly requested them. He said he wanted to see more communication between county partners and while Gilpin’s presentation was informative, Galo hoped to see more presentations about the project.

Galo emphasized architectural presentation because he believes that if the current plan matches the needs and parameters defined by the county’s project plan, architects can have more creative ways to optimize spaces and respond to county needs.

” It depends on the price ; to make things prettier, it costs more. We have a budget; we try to stay within that budget. I know they are doing everything they can to make sure we get the biggest box possible and get what we pay for,” he said. “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘Hey, there are things we’re willing to give away,’ and I don’t think we’ve had that opportunity.”

According to the master plan, although he would like to see more creativity in the project, Galo said the plan has achieved its goal by ensuring the county does not spend unnecessarily on the project. Still, he would have liked to see more architectural input on Monday as he would like to see something more than just a metal building as a result of the project.

“I just want to make sure it’s something that comes out really well for the audience because they’re the ones who are going to benefit from it. Not just cattle shows, but concerts, tournaments, you know, volleyball or basketball tournaments – all kinds of things that can be arranged – weddings, whatever,” said Gallo said.

He pointed out that the lens continues to be a multifunctional project that can be used for a number of events, without competing with the Sames Auto Arena. Looking ahead, expansion is possible, but Galo said that won’t be discussed during the initial construction of the Fairgrounds project. Still, he envisions the fairgrounds with two arenas so the county can host two events at the same time, such as the LIFE fair and a concert, “So you’re not destroying something trying to get ready for that night.” , he added.

However, Galo echoed Gilpin and said the project had been affected by high inflation rates for material prices and rising gas prices. However, he hopes the aid will come sooner rather than when runaway inflation further complicates the project.

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