Renovation of historic Exhibit Hall No. 1 at the State Fairgrounds has been delayed to save funds, State Fair officials announced Wednesday.

The 1988 Legislature appropriated $3 million for renovations at the fairgrounds, and officials had hoped to complete work on the building by the Sept. 8 opening of the fair."We're still hoping to finish our magnificent building by the end of this year. We're slowing down the construction to get the best possible bids from contractors," said fair Director Jackie Nokes.

Salt Lake architect Timothy F. Thomas of Thomas Petersen Hammond & Associates said at least $100,000 will be saved by not pushing construction over a short time.

The Utah Department of Facilities, Construction and Management had hoped to renovate the historic exhibit building for $1.3 million. Estimates now indicate it will cost closer to $2.5 million.

The building will need a new roof and new floors for the ground and second stories. It also requires new heating, cooling, lighting and electrical systems.

Nokes said the second floor will be a grand ballroom, featuring an attractive maple wood floor.

Dave Fletcher of the architectural firm said Wednesday the restoration project requires a lot more work than originally contemplated. Most of the savings will be realized by providing a more realistic time schedule for completion of the project, he said.

The exhibit hall was designed by well-known architect Walter Ware and constructed in 1905. It was condemned by fire officials three years ago.