Regional directors have been asked to pitch in $10,000 toward the $180,000 needed to complete the North Thompson Agriplex.
Jill Hayward, president of the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association, appealed to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board during a meeting Thursday.
Hayward came away from the meeting confident the regional district would lend its support. The board deferred the matter to staff, who will explore ways to drum up the money.
To date, the association has raised about $1.2 million toward the project.
“We’re very close to having the building finished,” Hayward told The Daily News on Friday.
The goal is to have the 30x60xsix-metre structure completed by the end of the year, she said. The building needs to be insulated and drywalled and the heating, plumbing, showers and a commercial kitchen completed.
“We want radiant heating in the big part of the agriplex so people don’t have to wear winter woollies when they come to the New Year’s Eve bullarama,” said Hayward.
The association would also like permanent grandstands installed. At the moment, staff and volunteers use mobile bleachers.
Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys anticipates the grandstands alone will cost $80,000.
With the existing stands, only 700 people could sit in the agriplex for last New Year’s Eve bullarama. Humphreys said the capacity is three times the amount.
As long as staff can find the cash, the TNRD will contribute. Humphreys said some directors have expressed interest in contributing extra money from their electoral area so the $10,000 can be collected.
Construction on the agriplex began in 2011.