After two years and $21 million, Tippecanoe County commissioner David Byers cut the ribbon Tuesday afternoon to open the new Tippecanoe County fairgrounds.

The new building features three vast rooms that can be broken down into smaller spaces if necessary. The center of the building contains the coliseum, which can fit close to 1,000 people and has bleachers on both sides.

On both sides of the coliseum there are large rooms that can be divided as well. The west side features garage doors so trailers can easily come and go, and the east side has a door leading out to the horse barn.

"There's a lot of amenities here specific to the care of the animals when they're being shown for fairs and things things like that, and I think that's a real bonus," West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said.

New heating and cooling systems will make it possible to keep animals more comfortable, safe and healthy than before.

Even after two years of construction, there is still more work to be done before the fairgrounds welcomes crowds in July.

"We still have a couple little projects we still need to do," Byers said. "We want to make sure our budget is still good."

The county still needs to finish the landscaping and will install a new gate and photo area if the budget allows. 

The new fairgrounds are expected to bring in $750,000 to $1.25 million annually, Byers said. 

"We think we could probably make enough to make the bond payment because that's what we're hoping to do, so that's the challenge," Byers said.

The county fair will be July 17 to 24 and will feature livestock shows, merchant booths and a carnival.

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