Dwayne Nunez, Coreil, Paul D., Morgan, Johnny W. | 6/22/2005 1:03:29 AM
The final signing of Ascension Parish’s lease-purchase agreement on the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center also seals the fate of the LSU AgCenter’s 2006 Livestock Show at the facility, AgCenter officials said Tuesday (June 21).
Government officials in Ascension Parish and the Expo Center’s board finalized the lease-purchase agreement this week. Because the Ascension Parish Council already had said it would honor the LSU AgCenter’s earlier contract to hold the state livestock show there, officials say that paves the way for the 2006 event.
There had been some questions concerning the location of the livestock show after Lamar-Dixon officials announced the potential closing of the facility and began looking for a potential buyer or lessee.
"We’ve held the past two shows at the facility, and we’re glad our existing lease with Lamar-Dixon will be honored by the Ascension Parish Council," said Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter.
Coreil said the Ascension Parish’s lease on the facility secures the location of the LSU AgCenter’s 2006 Livestock Show, which will be held Feb. 11-18, 2006. He also said he hopes to continue to conduct the show at the facility after the 2006 show.
"The Ascension Parish Government has agreed to lease the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center facility for up to four years, but they expect to move toward exercising their option to purchase the facility within one to two years if the revenues and operating expenses turn out as projected," Coreil said.
The LSU AgCenter vice chancellor explained the major advantages of the state livestock show being held at Lamar-Dixon are its state-of-the-art facilities and excellent parking capabilities.
"The number of exhibitors and animals can grow at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center," Coreil said, adding, "This will give us the potential to impact more 4-H and FFA youth across the state."
LSU AgCenter administrators are aware of exhibitor and family concerns about not having the show on the LSU campus as was the tradition for many years. But a portion of the campus facilities in which the shows formerly were held have been torn down to make way for construction of new structures under LSU’s master plan.
"To address this concern, we will continue to provide opportunities for exhibitors and their families to visit the campus while they are attending the state show in Gonzales – which is only 20-30 minutes away," Coreil said.
In the past, discount or free tickets to men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as university-sponsored visits to campus sites, have been made available, and Coreil says the LSU AgCenter plans to continue providing these opportunities during the show.
Dwayne Nunez, an LSU AgCenter county agent in Ascension Parish who helps to direct the state livestock show, said the facility is a natural, because of its size.
"It’s the only facility we have access to that allows for growth of the show," Nunez said.
Last year approximately 3,700 4-H and FFA members from across Louisiana competed in the state livestock show with nearly 5,500 animals.