Fair breaks ground on Community Education Center


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Monday to celebrate the start of the new Community Education Center and Dog Arena Pavillion at the Darke County Fairgrounds. The new building is being built with funds from a state grant, donations from Cargill, Hills Pet Nutrition and The Brown Family Foundation. The dog committee also raised funds through projects, events and donations to help build the building.

Greg Pearson, president of the Darke County Agricultural Society, proclaimed, “This has been a long time coming. It’s a big day for us.” He pointed out this building project has been a collaborative effort with several partners. He believes they are on the right path to get the project completed. “I would especially like to thank Bruns (Construction) and the City of Greenville for what they’ve done to help prepare to get us to where we are now,” said Pearson. He is opening to get it ready for the 2024 Darke County Fair.

Director Jim Zumbrink, member of the building committee, is optimistic about having it ready by the third Friday in August. “Hopefully everything goes well for us,” he said. “I think we are going to fall a day or two short, already. Hopefully we will have it far enough along to at least house the dogs for the fair. I’m not going to promise the rest of the building. We will have to see. Everything is going to have to fall in line. So far, so good.”

Director Christoph Keller also serves on the building committee. “We are very excited to be able to move forward on this project,” he said. Building committee member Director Dean Neff added, “It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully it turns out good for the whole public.” In addition to having it filled during the fair, Neff wants to see the building used throughout the year.

Rachel Neal, president of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce, is excited to see Darke County growing and believes this project will add even more to the community. “It’s exciting to see,” she said.

Director Marla Werner announced there were several individuals in attendance for the groundbreaking that helped secure the state grant that contributed to the building project, including State Senator Steve Huffman and State Representative Angie King. Representative from Cargill and Dick Brown from the Brown Family Foundation were also in attendance. Other dignitaries included State Representative Rodney Creech, Mayor Jeff Whitaker, Commissioner Marshall Combs and Ben Thaeler represented Congressman Warren Davidson’s office.

The board has already begun work and is expected to pour concrete within the next week, depending on if the weather cooperates.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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