Jeff Spalding, KDRO in Sedalia, contributed to this report.
Governor Mike Parson traveled to west-central Missouri’s Sedalia on Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Director’s Pavilion on the state fairgrounds.
The plan is for the new structure to be built by the State Fair in August, to replace the director’s tent. That’s the site of the Governor’s ham breakfast, which is one of Missouri’s biggest political events of the year.
The ham breakfast is popular because of its food, but also because it’s an opportunity for voters in both major political parties to meet the governor, statewide elected officials and state lawmakers.
Governor Parson spoke at Friday’s ceremony, emphasizing the impact the facility will have on the community.
“You know you think of the governor’s ham breakfast, we’ve thought of that long before this,” Parson says. “But I’m just thinking of all of the people that are going to use this facility, for different reasons, here in this town. Families that will be in there, kids that will be in there.”
The governor says the new facility will create additional off-season event space for the fairgrounds.
Missourinet Sedalia affiliate KDRO (AM 1490) reports the project is an example of the public-private partnership being leveraged in the community for improvements to the fairgrounds.
State Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director Chris Chinn joined the governor at Friday’s ceremony, telling Brownfield this is the first time we’ve seen investment in the State Fair in nearly a decade.
Missouri State Fair Chairman Kevin Roberts, Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe, and Nucor Steel executives also attended the ceremony.
The new pavilion will be 100 by 200 feet and will include a concrete floor. KDRO reports the Director’s pavilion will be built on the east side of the fairgrounds, near the Centennial Gate along Highway 65.
Governor Parson also praises the largest steel producer in the United States, which is providing all of the steel for the pavilion. Charlotte-based Nucor Steel has also chosen Sedalia for its massive steel rebar manufacturing plant.
“Nucor Steel, thank you guys so much for multiple fronts,” says Parson. “Thank you for what you’re doing for this building, but more importantly, (the) largest steel company in the United States, thank you for picking Sedalia, Missouri to make a $250 million investment.”
The steel plant opened in late January, and it’s one of the largest projects Missouri has landed in the past decade.
The steelworker jobs pay an average of $65,000 a year.
Sedalia-Pettis County economic development executive director Jessica Craig says some of the steelworkers who’ve been hired in Sedalia are from as far away as Lee’s Summit and Columbia. She says the steel plant will be transformative for Sedalia.
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