What to expect from Lethbridge's new Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre
Despite weeks of bone-chilling temperatures, officials say construction of Lethbridge's new Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre at Exhibition Park is on schedule.
The $70 million venue is, according to Lethbridge & District Exhibition officials, the largest development project in Lethbridge’s history
“We were delayed in the last couple weeks with the cold weather and wind, but we're on track to be opening our doors in less than 500 days," said Mevisha Maistry, director of communications, marketing and risk management with the Lethbridge & District Exhibition.
While some construction companies have been impacted by global supply chain issues or a worker shortage due to COVID-19, Maistry says this project hasn't been impacted by either.
“Right now, we have all our structural steel being implemented, we have 100 tonnes being erected each week. In March and April, we'll have our structural steel, our deck and our precast concrete coming in and being installed," said Maistry.
Once completed, Economic Development Lethbridge CEO Trevor Lewington says the exhibition centre will generate $90 million for Lethbridge's economy every year.
“They're looking to create this hub for innovation, this hub for industry, bring people together, bring the right players together – and that’s, I think, the longer term and more exciting piece, is how do we leverage our strength in agriculture and agri-foods and ag-tech and really put Lethbridge on the global map?”
Lewington says having an event centre will make Lethbridge competitive when it comes to hosting events.
“Having a modern, up-to-date building with all the right services is critical to attracting these events."
“There’s a lot of competition out there, and if you're an event organizer, you've got your pick. You can go many, many places. We want to make sure Lethbridge is on the top of their list,” Lewington added.
Lewington says the new space will also provide short term benefits.
“The expansion of the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre is the largest capital project on our list of major projects this year, and that has a direct impact on our city."
“It’s probably going to create in the neighbourhood of 600 to 700 construction jobs, and that also has an impact right now.”
The 268,000 square foot building is slated to open its doors on May 1, 2023.