The Pictou Agriculture Society is examining a plan to build a new multi-use barn on the grounds of the Pictou-North Colchester Exhibition.
The discussion is about replacing a livestock barn that is already in disrepair with a more substantial and versatile building. It is located in the back corner of the exhibition grounds near where the motor vehicle events take place. The plan is to begin the project after the 2023 exhibition and possibly close in the building before next winter. Its dimensions will be 32 feet by 172 feet.
Society president Jack Ferguson said it was important to update the society at its meeting last Thursday regarding next steps.
It follows his presentation last month to Municipality of Pictou County council’s committee meeting. He was accompanied by society members Lynn MacKay and Elwood Fraser, who has 50 years’ experience erecting homes, barns and other buildings.
“They seem to be all on side,” Ferguson said. “We need a better facility. We wanted to start in the spring, but we couldn’t be sure it would be ready for the exhibition. We decided it would be better to work with what we have for now and start the work afterward. This way, it gives us more time to raise the money.”
He said it’s better to replace the barn than to try and upgrade it. He said the new design would provide more public viewing area.
The society has asked council to contribute $90,000 over two years toward completing the new barn that Fraser estimates would cost $250,000. No decision on the request is likely before council’s budget deliberations.
Fraser said he’s amazed the barn escaped being flattened by post-tropical storm Fiona last September.
“The barn is ready to fall down; it’s past being fixed,” he said. “It’s amazing Fiona didn’t take it. We’re going to take it down. There’s no use saving it.
He said a horse show component that includes draft horses like the Percherons he owns is part of the vision for the new barn. It would also be an off-season storage area.
Ferguson said the new barn requires a higher roof to store exhibition-related machinery and other items off-season.
“We don’t have enough storage and most buildings are too low,” he said.
Ferguson said he’s not sure if the new barn and its features will attract more people to the exhibition beyond curiosity, but he’s glad people returned to the event the way they did after three years’ absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That’s a difficult question,” he said. “People may have an interest in seeing the building, but I’m not sure what a drawing card it will be. That was our biggest concern last fall. We didn’t know how COVID would affect attendance, but we had a terrific response at the gate.”
The society is welcoming donations and those interested in contributing can contact MacKay by email at email@example.com.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.