The Christian County Extension Service announced Wednesday that the groundbreaking for its new ag expo center will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 6 at the Christian County Extension office on Pembroke Road.
Once complete, the 45,000-square-foot facility will be able to host events, such as 4-H/FFA shows and competitions, farm machinery shows and demonstrations, horse shows and other livestock related events. The extension will be able to host private, commercial or tourism-related activities that require a large indoor space as well, the release stated.
According to New Era archives, the ag center will sit behind the extension office, and the extension service will manage the facility once it is built.
The facility will be owned by the Christian County Ag Foundation, which county manager for the Christian County Extension Service Jay Stone previously explained is the private, nonprofit group that owns all of the extension services’ grounds and buildings in Christian County.
Feasibility study estimates show that the facility will cost between $1.7 and $2 million to build. Funds so far have come from donations and a variety of community partners.
Christian County Treasurer Walter Cummings previously told the New Era that one of the advantages of having the ag foundation property is that there was no cost to acquire the land.
According to New Era archives, the county in February 2018 entered into a memorandum of understanding with the city, agreeing to pay the city $2 million to help finance construction of the Hopkinsville Sportsplex adjacent to the James E. Bruce Convention Center.
According to the memorandum, the county would continue to fully fund the city’s parks and recreation superintendent position and the city’s $30,000 marketing and events coordinator position. The city, in turn, was to pay the county $1 million for “the financing of the construction of an agriculture-related facility to be located in Hopkinsville,” the memorandum said.
Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks noted that when the city proposed its WINS initiative, the county wanted to partner with the city and offered $2 million in funding for the Hopkinsville Sportsplex, which is part of WINS.
The city then offered $1 million for an ag-related project, which was at that time yet to be determined.
Along with the city and the county, donations for the facility have been made by Farm Credit Mid-America and the Kentucky Ag Development Board, the news release stated.
According to New Era archives, Farm Credit Mid-America donated $100,000 toward the project in March.
That same month, the Christian County Extension District Board approved the hiring Jonathan W. Clark Architects of Clarksville for the design. Some of the company's past projects include renovations for Nissan Stadium in Nashville, renovations to Woodlawn Park in Woodlawn, Tennessee, a redevelopment of Ringgold Elementary School in Clarksville and several projects for the U.S. Forestry Service at Land Between the Lakes.