DUQUOIN – Governor George H. Ryan today released more than $2.3 million in state construction funds for needed infrastructure repairs at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds to upgrade aging buildings and mechanical systems.
“The DuQuoin State Fair is a tradition that is cherished in Southern Illinois,” Ryan said. “During my administration, I have worked diligently with the Department of Agriculture, the City of DuQuoin and Perry County to start several long overdue projects that are necessary to keep the grounds and buildings up to date for fairgoers in the 21st century.”
The Governor released $1,665,000 to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at several buildings on the fairgrounds. The current outdated systems require constant maintenance and limit the use of the buildings.
The Governor released $400,000 to upgrade the telecommunications system at the fairgrounds. The current system is many years old, requires constant maintenance and poses a potential hazard in the event of an emergency and local police and fire departments cannot be reached.
The Governor also released $265,000 to build a new judges stand at the Fairgrounds’ racetrack. The current tower is deteriorating badly and deep scaling rust is evident on all levels, creating a hazard.
Since 1999, Governor Ryan has initiated several projects to modernize and preserve the DuQuoin Fairgrounds, including $2.6 million for the renovation of the horse show arena that includes enclosing the current open-air ring; $2.6 million for upgrades to the racetrack surface and structural supports; $688,000 to construct new livestock barns; $385,000 for various building structural repairs; and $205,000 for renovations to the historic Hayes House.