Franklin County Convention Center lands state grant as part of renovation project

HAMPTON — The Franklin County Fairgrounds and Convention Center has received a $200,000 Community Attraction and Tourism grant to make improvements to the convention center building.

Iowa Economic Development Authority spokeswoman Jacque Matsen says, “They are looking to make some significant upgrades and renovation to their meeting space and convention center space there. Which is really important for a small community like that to have a place where they can hold meetings.”

Matsen says the renovations are being called an “extreme makeover.” “Everything from upgraded restrooms and storage space to just new more appealing walls and exterior upgrades–  as well as kind of creating a patio area and upgraded A-V equipment — which will facilitate them being able to host more meetings,” says Matsen.

According to the Franklin County Fair website, the convention center serves as a key stream of revenue for the fair as the venue is used for weddings, family celebrations, banquets, meetings and music festivals. The estimated cost of the convention center project is $1.2 million.

CAT grants were also approved on Wednesday for park projects in Ames and Des Moines as well as a new YMCA building in Marion.