County Expo Center building gets new paint

Kris Barnes knows all about painting the Linn County Expo Center buildings.

It’s not an easy task, freshening up more than 200,000 square feet of space, but in 2005, he was working with Linn County General Services and the task fell on his shoulders.

Today, Barnes is the Expo Center’s operations manager, while workers from McClinton Painting of Albany handled the spray guns and paint rollers. The Linn County Board of Commissioners approved the nearly $100,000 facelift in a competitive bidding.

“Everything that’s concrete – including columns – and roll-up and man doors,” Expo Manager Randy Porter said.  He added that funds for the project were generated by the county’s 3% Transient Lodging Tax, which assists with maintenance costs.

“It’s long overdue and well worth the cost,” he said. “We constantly try to keep up maintenance. These buildings are 24 years old and it’s important we stay on top of things.”

McClinton Painting’s staff began work in early September and wrapped up in mid-October. About six people worked each day.

Barnes said when he painted the facility he did much of the work himself, with some temporary assistants.

The Expo Center contains 209,000 square feet under roof and sits on 37 acres. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it hosted about 300 events per year. 

“That could be everything from a large ag show to the use of a single conference room,” Porter said. “Those events bring about 350,000 people into the community.”

Porter said the annual budget is about $1 million. 

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer