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Fair Opens Bill & Grace Vanderbeek Fair Office

Grace Vanderbeek Speaks at Ribbon Cutting

Last July, the fair hosted an official dedication of the Bill & Grace Vanderbeek Fair Office.  The fair welcomed donors and community leaders to visit our new headquarters.  Grace Vanderbeek spoke about her husband’s special attachment to the fair.

During the ceremony, the fair’s President Darcy Martyn, and Gratiot County Commissioner Bill Dilts signed a 50 year lease agreement for the fair property.  The lease was notarized by Gratiot County Clerk Carol Vernon.


Construction Nears Completion

Front from east

front from west

Entry Way Doors


Cabinets North

Mop sink

women's bath

Men's bath


Contractor Applies Siding

Fair Office Front

Front Side



Construction Moves to the Interior

(Alma, MI) The new fair office complex has its roof and is set to be sided soon. The interior rooms have been shaped in and sit ready for electrical and plumbing to be installed. The highlight of the interior is a 16' x 30' conference and seminar room. The fair is planning to install marker boards, a projector and screen, and small desk like tables which can be changed from conference tables to classroom style.

new office with shingles

interior skeleton


Office Taking Shape

(Alma, MI) The week of March 1 will transform the look of the Gratiot County Fair for Youth with the new fair office literally taking shape. "We will be installing the walls early in the week and we should have rafters installed by week's end," states Kevin Jerome the project's construction manager. Jerome who works for Freed Construction has been busy preparing for this project. "The walls are pre-fabricated by Bear Truss so they should go up quickly."

When complete, the fair office building will provide a large conference and seminar room, two offices, a reception area, outside accessible public restrooms, and a full basement.  “This new office will provide many new opportunities for the fair,” states Brian Gardner, GCFFY’s fair coordinator.  “I am most excited about the large conference and seminar room which will provide a great private space for youth exhibitors and superintendents or judges to meet and learn more about their projects during fair week.”  Gardner expects the room to be used for fair meetings, 4-H meetings and for workshops throughout the year.

wall construction

wall construction


Fair Purchases Conference Chairs


chair photo

In order to make our fair conference room useful for many different purposes, the fair has purchased 37 conference chairs from a conference center auction. These durable and stackable chairs will allow the room to be set up for meetings, workshops and seminars. The plan for the conference room will be to install small tables which will provide maximum flexibility.

Floor Deck Installed

(Alma, MI) Freed Construction has installed the floor deck on the fair office building in mid-February. The next process will be to pour the basement floor.

floor deck


Basement Walls Poured

(Alma, MI) The new fair office's basement walls were poured on February 8, 2010. The new office will have a full basement for storage and a storm shelter.

Basement poured walls


The Gratiot County Fair for Youth BROKE Ground on a New Office and Education Center in Alma

Back row (Left to right) Becky Hirschman, Jennifer Butcher, Joe Butcher, Brian Gardner, Argil Willman, Kevin Jerome. Front Row, Jaiden Butcher, Kris Duflo, Sophie Gardner.


(ALMA, Michigan)  The Gratiot County Fair for Youth broke ground on a new 1,600 square foot office and education building on Tuesday, February 2, 2010.  The beginning of construction on the new building signifies a new era for the fair.

“We are excited for our youth exhibitors and volunteers as this project will further enhance the quality of services the fair will be able to provide,” says Brian Gardner, Gratiot County Fair for Youth Coordinator.  “This new facility will greatly improve the fair’s ability to serve the community”

The new building will have a 500 square foot conference and education room with a demonstration kitchen, two offices, a reception area, and outside accessible public bathrooms.  The building will hook up with the existing Pioneer Pavilion in the center of the fair grounds.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved listing the additional bathrooms in the fair’s camping plan which will allow the fair to add twenty additional campsites in the future.

“The previous building and improvement projects for the fair were for exhibition spaces and barns,” states Kris Duflo, chairman of the building committee.  “This project has been needed for a long time and will serve this fair for decades to come.”

The fair will fund this $200,000 project through budgeted annual revenues and through the Solid Future Campaign.  “This gives members of the community an opportunity to invest in this project and the fair’s organizational mission,” states Gardner.  “We are already half-way to our campaign goal before we have officially kicked-off our campaign.”

For more information about the Gratiot County Fair for Youth visit www.gcffy.org.


Plans are unveiled for the new fair office project

fair office 3d drawing
Building Plans