The Nueces County Commissioners Court took another step toward bringing improvements to the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds last week, with a vote to appoint an engineering firm to oversee the work.

In a unanimous vote April 16, the commissioners selected Naismith Engineering Inc. to head the project. According to documents presented to the court, the firm will receive $797,300 to complete the $6.9 million in improvements to the fairgrounds.

In a Feb. 4 meeting, the commissioners held a split vote in which they cancelled plans for a proposed Heritage Center and reallocated $5.3 million of that funding to other fairground projects.

In their March 25 meeting, the county commissioners revisited the costs of individual projects already considered, and approved $1.58 million in additional items.

Items originally approved by the court included additional parking, a 10,000 square foot air conditioned storage facility, parking and utility hook ups for 75 recreational vehicles, landscaping, penning equipment and fencing. Also approved was a roof extension to the existing Equestrian Center, at a cost of $631,344.

The court added a number of items to that list, including perimeter lighting for the roadway around the facility, portable bleachers, a pavement and covered walkway for the new storage facility, a locker room and a marquee. The addition of those items brings the total cost of improvements to the fairgrounds to $6,932,031.