Torrential rainfall over the last four months has caused the latest addition to the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds to fall behind schedule.

John Michael with Naismith Engineering said work is still being completed from Phase I-A, which includes the Banquet Hall and Central Pavilion Arena, in addition to the ongoing work on the 67,000-square-foot Equestrian Center covered outdoor arena. In addition, the arena will have a 150-stall barn and two warm up rings.

Michael said material shortages due to June and July's heavy rainfalls have caused a slight delay in the completion of the $7.3 million project, since other projects around the area were delayed in addition to fairgrounds construction.

"We have battled a lot of rain out at that site," Michael said. "By the time we got the rain dried out, it would rain again. The material shortages have been resolved, though."

The county has seen more than 45 inches of rain since June.

The rains have proven to be beneficial to the project, Michael added, since it has revealed some oversights in previous work, mainly through leaks found in the Central Pavilion Arena.

"The curse is, yeah, we're putting up with the rain, but the blessing is it's letting us find and fix those mistakes," he said. "It's not unusual to see these kinds of leaks with a building that is still under construction."

"I'm not worried about it," Michael added. "It's being taken care of."

Work had been stopped in late January after a lawsuit was filed by a local businessman revealed the county had improperly awarded the contract for construction of the new facilities to Zachry Construction of San Antonio. After settling that and another lawsuit, work on the Equestrian Center finally resumed in May after Zachry was re-awarded the contract in April by the county.

Michael said the project is now on schedule to be completed in late December, about two weeks before the start of the 73rd annual Nueces County Junior Livestock Show in January.