Clackamas County Plans Unveiled: Building for the Future

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Community: Clackamas County Fairgrounds & Event Center
Written by Tyler Francke, Contributing Writer

The most significant project at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds & Event Center in a half a century is officially underway, as officials announced construction of the new state-of-the-art, 38,000-square-foot Multipurpose Building in the heart of the historic fairgrounds property in Canby. Carefully designed and planned by fairgrounds staff and Clackamas County Fair Board officials, the ambitious project will replace the original beef and swine barn — which was torn down in 2014 for safety reasons — and enhance the overall versatility and functionality of the facility. “This thing is getting built,” promises Clackamas County Event Center Executive Director Brian Crow, who oversaw two massive construction projects — a new show barn and a large picnic pavilion — during his previous tenure as director of the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Madras.

The new structure will replace the temporary tent erected each year to house animals during the Clackamas County Fair since the original barn was razed in 2014. “It’s a true multipurpose facility,” Brian explains. “It will be a great place to house the beef and hogs during the fair, with climate-controlled conditions that will help keep the animals and their owners comfortable. But it also gives us a really great tool in our toolbox for natural disasters, so we can have a place to evacuate and shelter people and animals, as well as a staging point for resources and emergency personnel.”

In terms of events, the building will offer the fairgrounds a large and versatile space for trade shows, conferences, exhibitions, concerts and other entertainment, flea markets and more. And it will be available year-round, Brian explains. During the summer, a popular time for large concert festivals like Harefest, the new building will provide an air-conditioned space to stage reception areas. And during the rest of the year and its unpredictable weather, the fairgrounds will be an attractive option for local organizations to stage large events. “That’s one of the most exciting things about this project for me: This building gives us the ability to serve the community all year round in a variety of ways,” Brian says.

Designed by LRS Architects, construction will be led by Beaverton-based Inline Commercial Construction and take place across two phases. The first phase will be the concrete foundation and roof, hoping to be completed for the 2024 Clackamas County Fair. The second phase will encompass the walls and interior finishing work, hoping to be completed by the summer of 2025.

The floor plans for the Clackamas County Fair Facility

Spanning 38,000 square feet, the building will include a 31,000-square-foot main hall that can be subdivided into three separate rooms, as well as restroom facilities, showers, a wellness room and a family restroom, a comfortable lobby, reception area and office space.

Funding for the estimated $12 million project has come from multiple sources, including the State of Oregon, Clackamas County and the City of Canby. However, the local community is encouraged to participate in funding efforts through programs such as Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards and the Clackamas County Fair Improvement Foundation. Sponsorship and naming opportunities are available for local businesses and organizations. “We are thankful to our partners who have supported this important project, from the county, state and city, to the Fair Board, to our local community members,” Brian says. “The Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Event Center is a big part of Canby’s and Clackamas County’s past and future, and the success of this project so far is just one more example of what makes our community so special.”

The Clackamas Fairgrounds and Event Center is located at 694 N.E. Fourth Avenue in Canby. Learn more about the project online at