The S.C. State Fair is moving forward with parts of its long-term renovations plan by seeking site-plan approval for a new exhibition building and a facelift to the Rosewood Drive ticket booths at the state fairgrounds.
A 36,000-square-foot exhibition hall is planned for the east side of the fairgrounds adjacent to the existing Cantey Building, as well as construction of two ticket booths at the Rosewood entrance to the grounds. The city Planning Commission will decide Tuesday whether to approve the site plan for the construction.
Construction on the new building is expected to begin in the next several weeks.
“We hope to break ground before the end of the year,” said State Fair manager Gary Goodman, adding that the building should be completed by the middle of summer.
A timeline for the Rosewood Drive work has not been announced.
The renovations are part of the fair’s long-range plan that was launched in 2009 with the opening of Carolina Park. The $5 million upgrade to the fairgrounds parking lot included 4,105 spaces on nearly 40 acres and as well as improved lighting, more green space and an extensive underground drainage system. About the same time, the fair added new wrought-iron exterior fencing along George Rogers Boulevard.
Other improvements in the meantime have included expanding the fair’s Grandstand entrance, adding an aerial security system throughout the grounds and upgrading the landscaping at several entrance gates.
Upcoming projects in addition to the new exhibition building and ticket booths include a $1.5 million sidewalk stretching more than 2,000 feet along Bluff Road and Rosewood Drive.
The entire renovation plan is expected to take up to eight more years to complete.
Staff writer Bertram Rantin contributed.