JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Construction has been underway for just over a year on the new nearly $30 million dollar Trade Mart at the State Fairgrounds. The Coliseum is also getting upgrades.
1962 meets 2020 is the way the Mississippi State Fair Commission Executive Director describes the transformation.
“It’s just an exciting time for the fairgrounds,” said MS Fair Commission Executive Director Steven Hutton. It is quite the undertaking for the agency head who started the job in June of 2018.
On Monday he took us on a tour of what will be the new look of the fairgrounds with its brand new Trade Mart.
Masonry work is underway right now, with crews well over a year into the construction of the new building and improvements to the 57 year old Coliseum.
Walls are going up at the site which will be connected to the Coliseum.
“We’re gonna be able to attract shows we’ve never been able to attract before,” said Hutton. “We’re gonna be able to attract shows that need a place for someone to speak and then move over into a trade space. We have several companies that are already talking to us about 2020 and 2021, about moving some of their meeting space down here."
The new Trade Mart building is on the east side of the coliseum and will be connected to the Coliseum. It will also have three bays, but they will be larger than the old 75,000 square foot facility.
Each new bay will be approximately 23,000 square feet. It will include a 2,500 square foot commercial kitchen with a service corridor along the facility.
But the Coliseum won’t be left out, with its new paint jobs, improved drainage house in the columns surrounding the building and more.
The current seating will also be replaced with 6,500 new permanent chairs.
“We have converted all of our lighting inside the Coliseum from old incandescent, loud buzzing, horrible energy raining type fixtures to energy efficient, quiet LED fixtures,” added Hutton.
The old Trade Mart will be demolished, making space for 400 additional parking spaces during the fair. Completion on the new Trade Mart is scheduled for spring of next year.