The design phase of a proposed agricultural centre in Rimbey is nearing completion.
Tim Edge, spokesperson for the Rimbey Agrim Centre, said mechanical and electrical designs have almost been finalized. Once the working drawings are established, the project will go out for tender, he added.
“There’s a lot of little steps to be completed, but we are almost through the design and development phase.”
Phase 2, with some initial construction, is slated to begin early in the new year, he added.
Several volunteers answered a request made at Rimbey Agricultural Society’s annual general meeting held Dec. 6 to help with the project.
“We did have volunteers step up at the meeting. We are grateful for the volunteers we have, but we can still use more who are committed to doing some leg work,” said Edge.
Private and corporate sponsors are also needed and anyone who wants to spend dollars to see their name attached to Agrim Centre is encouraged to come forward, Edge said.
The $3.4 million, 60,000-square-foot building is to include a riding arena and a 900-seat grandstand as well as meeting space and a boardroom.
The building, which is to have an outside balcony, is to be located inside the existing track and infield of the rodeo grounds.
The use of a solar wall and the ability to collect rainwater for the building’s non-potable water needs is part of the green technology to be used in the construction of the building.
Edge said a feasibility study conducted to determine the validity of the project showed a new ag centre would provide the potential for a two million dollar annual boost to the community.
“Our old building has been too small for any feasible equine or bovine events in central Alberta. After seeing the success of the Ponoka Ag Events Centre, our ag society decided to follow suit, with the full support of Ponoka County.”
Edge said rodeo and horse groups and oil-related companies looking for trade show space have already made contact with the ag society.
“The possibilities for its uses are limited only by imagination, because it’s designed to be so multi-functional.”