Hall County could be pouring more than $1 million to renovate the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, a 66-acre complex with an open arena that operates as a venue for equestrian events, rodeos, animal expositions, archery competitions and festivals.
If approved, the funding for renovations will be allocated from capital projects, impact fees and SPLOST, a 1% county sales tax.
According to a justification summary of the item, renovations would include new bathrooms, an extension of the arena, electrical work, extended lighting, the replacement of concrete around new bathrooms, drop siding on the new extension of the arena, gutters extended to the end of the new section of the arena, barn A/B stall removal and reset, the relocation of existing dirt and laser grading.
“Restoration and renovation of amenities at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center was identified as a critical need in the park facilities master plan, as facilities are nearing the end of their life cycle,” county documents state. “Proposed renovations will allow the AgCenter to attract more events and better meet the expectations of visitors and citizens.”
On average, the agriculture center has generated $150,250 a year in revenue over the last five years, according to Director of Parks and Community Services Brent Holloway.
“It’s a big deal, just because the venue itself is unique,” Holloway said. “It is something that not every municipality has, and can use it for everything from rodeos to garden expos to remote control car races. It’s a great venue.”
The restoration of the agricultural center will be performed by Clermont-based contractor Chattahoochee Inc.
Holloway said he expects work on the facility to begin “relatively quickly” following its approval.
Commissioners will decide whether to approve the project at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the Hall County Government Center during a regular meeting.