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City revisits ideas for old Fairgrounds Park grandstand

February 01, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Council members and Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II revisited ideas Tuesday for using the city's old grandstand at Fairgrounds Park.

Four years ago, City Engineer Rodney Tissue presented the council with a list of possible uses for the structure, including tearing out the seats and building an auditorium or banquet facility under a new roof.

City documents at that time estimated that improvements would cost $7 million to $9 million.

Tissue discussed the project with council members and Bruchey during a work session. The project came up again because it has been "hanging in limbo," Councilman William M. Breichner said.

Councilwoman Ashley Haywood said a convention center in the area has been discussed by various local organizations.

"(A) convention center has been coming up for the last 15 years," Bruchey said.

Tissue said there is a need for gymnasium space in the area. When the project was discussed four years ago, a blueprint called for removing the grandstand seats and replacing them with two indoor basketball courts on a second floor.

Besides deciding what to do with the structure, there is the issue of running the facility, Tissue said.

There was also discussion of using the grandstands for concerts, which the property was used for years ago.

Breichner said any project involving the grandstands will likely wait until the economy is favorable.

"I'm sure that's a long ways off," Breichner said after the meeting.

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