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Jessica Ballou, Published June 20 2012

Open house today to unveil renovated Schollander Pavilion

WEST FARGO – Red River Valley Fair officials will unveil a $1.8 million renovation of Schollander Pavilion this afternoon at the fairgrounds here.

The event begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m., followed by an open house with tours until 6:30 p.m.

Renovations began last October, said Red River Valley Fair General Manager Bryan Schulz. The project was completed at the end of May, and the staff has taken this time to tidy up before today’s open house.

Most area residents will get a chance to check out the remodeled pavilion during the six-day Red River Valley Fair that gets under way July 10. It will host beef showmanship classes, a junior Angus show, a commercial heifer show, a youth beef show and barrel races.

The original one-level pavilion, built in 1967, was named after Art Schollander, a retired farmer who owned the quarter-section of land where the fairgrounds now sit. The pavilion was mainly used for livestock and other events, and was also once used as an indoor skating arena.

The first level of the remodeled Schollander Pavilion now houses a conference space, concession stand, new bathrooms, a ticket office and access to the pavilion. The second floor has offices with a door and window for each staff member, and a large work room for bigger projects.

Schulz is looking forward to hosting the fairgrounds’ agricultural partners such as Titan Machinery, John Deere and Bobcat in the new conference spaces, something he and the fair board have wanted to do for some time.

“This gives us a whole new focus we can go after,” he said, “to be able to work with our ag-based friends out in the community.”

Bill Hoffman served as RRVF board president last year and helped develop the idea to remodel Schollander.

He said there were many problems with the old building, including “disgusting” bathrooms, small offices and issues with water leaking under the building. Hoffman suggested giving the building a facelift, and a majority of the fair board agreed.

“We all laughed because it seemed like such a dream,” he said. “The more we looked into it, though, we knew it was what we had to do.”

Schulz and Hoffmann tout the old fair feel of the new pavilion that mixes new technology with the renovations.

“It’s going to be such a nice asset to the fairgrounds,” Hoffmann said. “I think it’s a very attractive building.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jessica Ballou at (701) 237-7311

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