Arizona State Fair Board Approves Funding For WPA Building Roof Repair

By Daniel Perle, Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, May 20, 2019 - 9:21am
Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 12:08pm

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Arizona State Fair WPA Civic Building
Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez/KJZZ
The Arizona State Fair WPA Civic Building was built during the Great Depression in 1938.

An 80-year-old building on the Arizona State Fairgrounds has a chance at a second life thanks to a decision by the State Fair's Board Thursday night.

The building was constructed as the state headquarters for the Works Progress Administration, a Great Depression-era government jobs program.

In 2016, the State Fair Board planned to demolish it, but after community outcry, plans to preserve it began. State Fair Deputy Director Michael Searle said repair funds for the structure’s roof were approved on Sunday.

“So up to $400,000 has been approved and our anticipated cost for the repair including contingency is $400,000 to repair the roof, that doesn’t restore the rest of the building, that’s strictly the roof repair,” Searle said.

The money will come directly from the State Fair Board’s operating budget, so Searle said the State Fair Board is seeking up to $40,000 in donations from the local historic preservation community to offset the cost.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the donation amount the State Fair Board is seeking.

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