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City reviewing fairgrounds plan

March 11, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

An equestrian center, athletic fields, a bike track and an area for skateboarding and inline skating are included in a proposed development plan for the Hagerstown Fairgrounds.

The mayor and City Council must endorse a conceptual plan for use of the 68 acres of green space this month before state officials will approve a funding plan that would enable the city to purchase the fairgrounds, said Planning Director Ric Kautz.

Council members will review the proposal today, and the Hagerstown Planning Commission is to review it on Wednesday, Kautz said.

The proposal, which has not been finalized, does not call for demolishing the grandstands, clubhouse or jockey quarters, he said.

The grandstands would be used for community events and the clubhouse for an equestrian center, according to the proposal. The buildings are in good shape, although the roof on the jockey quarters needs repair, he said.

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According to Kautz, the proposal also calls for:

  • Four softball fields and four multipurpose fields that could be used for soccer, lacrosse and rugby.
  • Three show arenas for equestrians.
  • Trails and paths for walkers, joggers, bikers and inline skaters in the northeast area of the fairgrounds.
  • A fairgrounds museum and offices in the entrance building near Cannon Avenue.
  • An area for inline hockey games and slopes for inline skaters and skate boarders.
  • A BMX bike track on a hilly area.
  • About 1,200 parking spaces in 10 parking lots.


The proposal was put together by a group of 22 local residents and includes contributions from the public, Kautz said.

The plan would use existing roadways at the fairgrounds.

City officials expect to hear in April whether the state's Board of Public Works will approve a plan to distribute almost $1.2 million to the city over several years to purchase the land from Community Center Inc., a subsidiary of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation.

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