REDMOND, OR -- The Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center is still dealing with the repercussions from last winter's massive snowfall. Director Dan Despotopulos says nearly every building suffered roof damage, although the Bank of the Cascades Event Center was hardest hit. "When all of the heavy load of snow came from the top down to the bottom, it took some of the HVAC, the exhaust fans down with it and left a couple of big holes over the restroom areas. A lot of this happened just before one of the biggest events of the year that we have, which is the Oregon Wrestling Classic around Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Right about that same time, just a few days before, the roof in Bend at the Kenwood School gym collapsed, so there was a lot of concern so we had the building inspectors come out and, you know, everything was cleared." Holes have been temporarily patched.
The 2017 Deschutes County Fair is set to kick off in less than three weeks, but Despotopulos tells KBND News, "The building is in very good shape, structurally; it's more than sound. We've had building inspectors and structural engineers out. There's no problem, whatsoever. It's just esthetically - there's some ceiling tiles that, because of the dampness, that we have to replace - and some drywall; common sense would tell you if you pour a bucket of water over some drywall, it's going to create some problems."
He met with County Commissioners Thursday to discuss the needed repairs. "One day next week, we'll be able to make the decision how we're going to proceed forward, because we would like see that obviously fixed before next winter. Hopefully we don't have a winter like we just did, but you never know. But, it's not going to effect the fair. The general public won't even realize, you know, unless of course it rains; it could start dripping in there." He estimates damages to all of the buildings are in the half million dollar range. The county has insurance, but Despotopulos says it's still unclear how much they will cover.