The new covered arena at the fairgrounds sits behind the Winnemucca Events Center. It will be a terrific addition to the facilities Winnemucca has to offer when working to entice events that bring visitors and their money into the community, say authorities.
The first event is already scheduled for the new building. A big barrel race is on the calendar for the first week of March — in conjunction with the very popular and successful Ranch Hand Rodeo.
WCVA and AG-3 Director Kim Petersen said the company which manufactures the hybrid steel-sided, canvas-roofed building — Legacy Builders out of Minnesotta — has supplied the workers who are putting up the building. Petersen believes their experience and knowledge of the process and product will help ensure completion in time for the big barrel race.
“We’ve had several meetings with the subcontractors about the schedule and they’re all working hard to be there when it’s time to do their part of the job to meet the final deadline,” Petersen said.
After the trusses are completed, the next step will be putting the canvas material on the roof and gabled ends of the building. Next, steel sheeting will form the walls.
The building will cost close to $2.8 million when completed. That’s a far sight more than the original covered arena, which cost around $600,000.
That first arena was completely canvas-covered and was damaged in high winds. Although the building was still standing, the wind bent the trusses and compromised the building’s structural integrity. WCVA, AG-3 and Humboldt County determined the only course of action was to have the damaged building taken down and start over from scratch.
Petersen said the mistakes were made by the engineering company and the company that manufactured the covered arena. Both the manufacturing company and the engineer had gone out of business by the time Winnemucca’s covered arena failed, due to similar failures which occurred all over the country, Petersen said.
Although the insurance company settlement was a very long time in coming, it finally came close to matching the cost of the original covered arena. The fact hat it finally did come is a testament to the persistence of Petersen and his staff, along with the members of both boards, who refused to give up.
That insurance money provided the first part of the funding for the new, bigger, and better building. WCVA and AG-3 split the remainder of the cost. The two organizations get their funding for such facilities and improvements from room tax money collected from tourists.
The original covered arena was 140-feet wide and 200-feet long. The new hybrid canvas/metal arena will be 170-feet wide and 320-feet long. Very substantial concrete footings extend far underground to ensure this new building will remain standing for decades.
“We’re already talking to people who want to rent it for the events they want to bring into town,” Petersen said. “It’s really going to add to what we already have to offer for events and will make Winnemucca even more competitive in this business.
“We’ve made proposals to events that have been held in other areas in past years. We believe a number of them are seriously considering relocating to Winnemucca.”