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New barn coming to Fair and Field Days

WALTHAM — There’s something new coming to the Addison County Fair and Field Days. It’s not a ride, exhibit or contest, but serves a thoroughly practical purpose.
Visitors to this summer’s fair will find a new safety building located near the fairgrounds’ front entrance.
The 40-by-56-square-foot building will have three large bays to house two fire trucks and one ambulance. The space will also include rooms in which emergency personnel can sleep and another where they can perform procedures and do public education. Like the other buildings on the fairgrounds, the safety building will have red metal siding with white trim. 
Bill Roleau, one of the fair’s directors, is overseeing the building’s construction. The building will be the 19th that he has helped construct for Field Days.
He said the new building replaces a repurposed milking parlor dating back to 1988. The old building leaked and wasn’t large enough to fit all of the trucks. Emergency personnel refused to sleep in it because of mold, and first aid was administered outdoors when needed.
That structure was demolished. Its trusses have been saved and Roleau hopes to use them on the tractor pad to hold a set of scales. 
“It was in tough shape,” Roleau said of. “It served for 25 years so as a reclaimed project it served its purpose. But it took nothing to tear it down.”
Builders from Avery Smith Construction of Lincoln started framing the new building on Wednesday and plan to have a roof finished this week. Roleau said he plans to have the building completely finished by start of the fair, which runs Aug. 4-8.
Partial funding for the $60,000 project came in the form of $10,000 donated by the Addison County Maple Sugarmakers Association. Moe Rheaume, the association’s president, said his group tries to make regular donations to Field Days for yearly improvement projects. Last year the sugarmakers association donated $5,000 to build new bathrooms.
“If it wasn’t for the fair we wouldn’t have a money-making operation so we have to support that,” he said. 
Addison County’s annual fair hosts fire and emergency first responders 24 hours every day during its five-day run. Ken Button, another fair director, said the new building was really necessary to ensure public safety. 
“We need to be prepared for the unexpected,” he said. “We’ve always been prepared before, but now the people that are here are going to have a suitable place to work with.”
A NEW SAFETY barn is going up at the Addison County fairgrounds in New Haven. The barn will house Fair and Field Days fire and rescue vehicles that are on site during the fair and will also have classroom space and a bunkroom for rescue workers.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

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