GIRARD — After expanding the livestock barn, rebuilding the Angels Among Us Center and improving plumbing, the Crawford County Fair Association is setting its sights on a new grandstand.

Earlier this year, The fair association added a new restroom facility and updated sewer system at the Crawford County Fairgrounds, as well as expanding the livestock barn and building a new Angels Among Us Center. These efforts were made possible through community donations, and assistance from groups like the Crawford County Commission.

Now the fair association has announced a formal, multi-year fundraising campaign to rebuild the fairground’s iconic west grandstand.

“The grandstand was important to a lot of people because it had been there for so long,” CCFA President Scott Goff said. “It was kind of the centerpiece of the fairgrounds, and when it came down, people felt like we lost a bit of our history — and I agree.”

The west grandstand was built in the 1930s and stood at the fairgrounds until 2014, when it was demolished for safety reasons.

“It had gotten to the point where it just wasn’t safe anymore,” Goff said. “So we had to tear it down.”

The grandstand was replaced lower-maintenance bleachers, but as CCFA continues to make improvements to the fairgrounds, Goff said they want to get back to a grandstand that ties the fairgrounds together.

The group hopes to build a grandstand similar in design to the one built in the 1930s, but with updated, stronger materials.

When doing renovations earlier this year, CCFA officially partnered with the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, which allows donations to the fairgrounds to receive 501(c)(3) tax benefits.

The Skubitz Foundation provided $45,000 to this fund in 2017 to help make a new Angels Events Center possible. The Girard Area Community Foundation provided a $5,000 match grant for completion of a new covered pavilion in 2018. Crawford County Farm Bureau members contributed $40,000 to the livestock barn expansion.

CCFA has set a goal to raise $300,000 for the grandstand project by 2020. CCFA Treasurer Robert Tersinar said this two-year time period will allow CCFA to work with all government entities, local businesses and private citizens who want to make one-time, or multi-year, commitments to the project.

Anyone wanting more information on the project, or how to donate, should contact Tersinar at 620-238-4548.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.