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Emergency repairs needed for Illinois State Fair barn

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Another building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds is in need of emergency repairs in order to avoid a potential roof collapse.

The Capital Development Board, which handles the state's non-road construction projects, filed documents last month to justify the emergency repair, the State Journal-Register reported.

The documents said Barn 13's roofing system "has failed, causing water damage to the structural roof joists and decking."

"There is severe structural damage to the system with the potential for the roof to collapse, causing a threat to public safety and impending further loss and damage," the documents stated. "The Department of Agriculture has several events scheduled at the facility through 2018. Additional damage might force the department to close the facility and lose a revenue stream for the state of Illinois."

The state has hired Allied Design Consultants of Springfield for $100,000 to do the design work and oversee the roof's removal and replacement. The completion date for the work itself hasn't been determined.

"The timetable for such repairs remains fluid as we work through the procurement process," said Rebecca Clark, spokeswoman for the department.

Clark said the department hasn't had to relocate any events because of the roof problem.

Barn 13 was built in 1909 and includes a large dirt show ring that makes the facility "excellent for horse warm-up, horse stabling, cattle storage and livestock seminars," according to the department's website.

The barn's roof is part of a widespread deterioration of the fairgrounds because of lack of funds for maintenance. Clark said the barn is one of over a dozen buildings on the department's maintenance priority list.

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