FUTURE OF THE FAIRGROUNDS
The Missoula County Fairgrounds
The Missoula County Fairgrounds was bought by the Missoula Board of County Commissioners for $16,000 in 1913. At the time it was surrounded by farmland, and as Missoula grew, it became centrally located with a variety of uses. It now plays an important role in the community as a focal point and destination with a mission to promote agriculture, education, culture, recreation, and community connection, and to reflect the beauty and history of Western Montana.
After serving Western Montana for over a century, this important public asset is in need of reinvestment in order to preserve historic ties to the community, develop 19 new acres of open space, create 6000 feet of local trail connections, and build facilities for agricultural, educational, and recreational programming. In 2016, after an extensive public process, the County adopted a plan to redevelop the Fairgrounds.
Excellence in Design
Design Guidelines will ensure the entire Fairgrounds is integrated and attractive. Participation at the Fairgrounds development booth during the 2017 Western Montana Fair will help create a visual and written narrative and contribute to the continuity and identity of the Fairgrounds. The outcome will be a document that articulates the vision and ensures the site is developed with a distinct character that reflects our agricultural heritage and is welcoming to those who live in the urban core.
Phase I includes utility extensions, renovations to historic buildings, a new maintenance shop, a Learning Center, perimeter landscaping and streetscaping, entrance enhancements, improvements to the existing carnival grounds, 3000 feet of new trails, and 10 new acres of open space. Future phases include a complete trail system, 19 total acres of open space, and a new Livestock Center, Rodeo Arena, Ice Rink, and Exhibit Center.
The County is taking an incremental approach, which will reduce impacts to the public, employees, and tax payers by phasing implementation and financing and allowing the Fairgrounds to maintain operations during construction. Under this approach, construction will take longer than other public projects in Missoula. We appreciate your guidance, patience, and support during Fairgrounds redevelopment.