Planners of an $18 million science and technology exhibit center want to build it there.
The USA Volleyball Association wants to build a $1.6 million gymnasium there.One person even suggested building a NASCAR race track there.
And just where is "there"?
It's the Utah State Fairpark.
The 12-member board that governs the Fairpark is looking at these ideas and several others as it considers ways to renovate the park and make it self-sufficient.
Lynn Runolfson, chairman of the Utah State Fairpark Board, doesn't know what the grounds will look like in two years, but says the park is in for change.
"The possibilities are wide open at this point," Runolfson said. "We want to do what will work and what's good for the area and state."
The Legislature, which allocates $300,000 to $600,000 a year toward the fairgrounds, passed legislation requiring it to become self-sufficient, Runolfson said.
Runolfson answered questions and noted suggestions during a meeting with the public Wednesday. About 50 people attended the meeting and suggested ideas ranging from building an aquarium to closing the Fairpark and moving it to another location.
Peter Salm, president of the West Valley-based Project 7 Alliance, wants to build a science exhibition complex on the grounds. The 80,000-square-foot Science and Adventure Center would have an IMAX movie theater, exhibits on Utah's industries and a food court. It would also feature all sorts of science exhibits and interactive games on things like physics, biology and astronomy.
Salm and two partners have been working on the project for four years. The Fairpark is the ideal location, he said.
The fair board has met with Salm twice and is seriously considering the proposal, Runolfson said. The center was the most popular idea at the meeting and seemed to be a favorite among the board.
"I think it's a delightful idea," Runolfson said. "The kids would learn a lot there and have a blast doing it."
It would cost about $12 per person or $50 per family to buy a day pass at the Science and Adventure Center. The operators would bring in new exhibits two or three times a year to keep people coming back, said Kevin Elsberry, one of the partners.
The planners are close to securing the $18 million needed to start construction, said Elsberry, an electrical engineer from Sandy. They plan to begin construction in six months at an alternate site in Sandy if they don't get the Fairpark location.
The science center is just one idea. At the meeting, USA Volleyball Association's regional representative Kim Norman pushed the concept of a big athletic facility. An architect has designed a preliminary model and estimates it would cost about $1.6 million to build, Norman said.
The facility would start with volleyball and basketball courts and add soccer fields and other facilities in the future, she said.
It would be big enough to host all sorts of tournaments and competitions, like Junior Jazz games and volleyball tournaments. It would also give children in the area something to do, added Norman, also a physical education teacher at Highland High School.
Frank Mcmenimen, Sandy, wants to see a conference center that would be connected through the Internet and satellite feeds to locations around the world. Leaders would use the center as a forum to discuss world problems from pollution to hunger, he said.
"With all the high-tech companies here, we have the resources for something like this," he said. "Utah could be the center."
The fair board will discuss all the proposals, decide which ones could work and conduct feasibility studies, Runolfson said. The process will likely take two to three months. The board could choose several or none of the proposals.
Other suggestions included a working farm for kids, a covered stadium for sports events and concerts and a NASCAR race track. Whatever happens, the park will continue to hold the Utah State Fair every year as required by law, Runolfson said.
"I like a lot of the ideas," he said. "We'll see which ones we have the facilities for."
Ann Karpienski, who lives a half block from the Fairpark, liked the idea of the science and sports complexes. The facilities would attract a good element to the neighborhood. Rock concertgoers leave cigarette butts and beer cans all over the place, she said.
Others at the meeting urged the board to consider Utah's ethnic and racial diversity before finalizing the plans.