New York State Fairgrounds upgrade
Syracuse, N.Y.
Award of Merit

Key Players
Project Owner/Developer: NY State Dept. of Agriculture and Markets and Office of General Services
General Contractor/Construction Manager: Gilbane Building Co.
Lead Design Firm: M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying PC
MEP Engineer: Sage Engineering Associates
Contractor: The Wesson Group
Contractor: Welliver

In 2015, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $50-million investment to revitalize the New York State Fairgrounds, the most significant transformation of the 110-acre site since the state fair first opened at its current location in the 19th century.

According to the project team, the goal was to enhance the fairground as a multi-use facility to attract more events and visitors year-round. Construction included a new main gate, expanded midway, a new recreational vehicle park, utility upgrades and enhanced landscaping.

Sustainable design was a key part of the fairgrounds’ transformation, says the team. The renovations added 18 acres of green space, and stormwater management improvements, such as the addition of underdrains to improve drainage, were made to prevent the kind of flooding that the space had previously experienced during severe rainstorms.

The team was held to a tight deadline ahead of the fairgrounds’ first major exhibition in July 2016.

Design was completed within an eight-week period, with construction spanning just short of six months.

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