Linn County Fair and Expo gets first paint job since 2005

Kris Barnes knows all about painting the Linn County Fair & Expo Center buildings.

It’s not an easy task freshening up more than 200,000 square feet of building space, but in 2005, Barnes was working with Linn County General Services and the task fell on his shoulders.

Today, Barnes is the operations manager at the Expo Center, as workers from McClinton Painting of Albany handled the spray guns and paint rollers. The Linn County Board of Commissioners approved the nearly $100,000 facelift in a competitive bidding.

Staff from McClinton Painting in Albany hard at work on a building at the Linn County Fair and Expo Center.

Everything that’s concrete – including columns – and roll-up and man doors,” Fair& Expo Manager Randy Porter said.

Porter said the project is being paid for by funds generated by the county’s 3% Transient Lodging Tax, which assists with maintenance costs.

It’s long overdue and well worth the cost,” Porter said. “We constantly try to keep up maintenance. These buildings are 24 years old and it’s important we stay on top of things.”

Barnes said McClinton Painting’s staff started work in early September and wrapped up in mid-October. He said there were about six people working each day.

Barnes said when he painted the facility he did much of the work himself, with some temporary assistants.

The Fair & Expo Center has 209,000 square feet under roof and sits on 37 acres.

Porter said that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair & Expo Center was home to about 300 events per year.

That could be everything from a large ag show to the use of a single conference room,” Porter said. “Those events bring about 350,000 people into the community.”

Porter said the annual budget is about $1 million.

Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer