Work on Appalachian Regional Exposition Center under way
WYTHEVILLE, Va. (Nov. 29, 2017) — Ground was broken for the Appalachian Regional Exposition Center on land above the dual interstates of I-77 and I-81.
The roadway carries thousands of vehicles a day and officials promoted the center as an economic builder.
Just weeks after closing on the property, grading and site prep work has started on the property that will become the Appalachian Regional Exposition Center. It is estimated to be ready for use in the fall of 2018.
The new facility began as a search for a new horse show facility, then changed to an agricultural expo center and has finally become a regional facility for many different kinds of uses.
The 90-acre site still will be a venue for agricultural and equine events, officials said, but also a place for cultural activities, youth programs, church gatherings and more. It is beside the section of I-77 and I-81 that use the same roadway from Fort Chiswell where I-77 and I-81 merge to the Town of Wytheville where I-77 heads north and I-81 continue south. Matthew Miller, Wythe County Extension agent and a leader in the development of the facility said the highways are a resource for the expo center and the surrounding area.
“It’s truly regional project,” Joe Hale, vice chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors said.
He said neighboring Bland and Carroll counties have been part of the work and planning.
The Virginia Tobacco Commission is another player, having contributed about $1 million to the project so far.
Hale said the project is an outgrowth of the Southwest Virginia Horseman’s Association which held the area’s most prestigious horse events in much of the 20th century.
A leader of that organization, Agnes Crockett Davis, 102, was on hand for the groundbreaking. Members of the Fort Chiswell FFA Chapter joined her and local and regional officials in the event.
Easton, MD 21601-8925