Lethbridge & District Exhibition is celebrating two years of construction on the Agri-Food Hub & Trade Centre. The official groundbreaking for the project took place on March 31, 2021, and two years later, construction on the building is storming ahead. The 268,000 square foot facility, which is one of the largest construction projects in Lethbridge’s history, is on-track to begin hosting events later this spring, with a grand opening event planned for the summer.
“Every time I step into the building, I am thrilled to see the progress being made and the way this vision is coming to life,” says Mike Warkentin, Lethbridge & District Exhibition CEO. “The Agri-Food Hub & Trade Centre will drive tourism to our city, create opportunities for local businesses, give a place for the agriculture and agri-food industries to highlight their value and become a centerpiece for our community to come together. It is exciting to know we are so close to welcoming the public into this incredible facility.”
The construction project is managed by Ward Bros. Construction of Lethbridge and has created nearly 400 construction jobs over the past two years. With a focus on supporting the local economy, 100 per cent of the project’s trades work has been provided by Alberta contractors, with more than 200,000 hours of labour contributed by workers from Lethbridge and the surrounding area.
A major milestone was achieved earlier this week as four straight days of work resulted in 1,000 cubic metres of concrete being poured to create the 104,000 square foot engineered concrete floor system of the facility’s trade halls. The concrete pour, facilitated by Ward Bros, Alphacon Inc. and Dynamic Concrete Pumping of Calgary, and Lafarge Lethbridge, is a revolutionary technique which pre-stresses the steel fibres to create a 110-millimetre-thick concrete floor as strong as a conventionally reinforced 200-millimetre-thick floor. The trade halls are the final major slab pour of the project, with all other areas of the building in the finishing stages.
Other project milestones include the installation of 262,000 square feet of metal decking, more than 1,600 metric tonnes of steel and 330 panes of glass (more than 10,000 square feet). Wiring is also being run throughout the building to accommodate a state-of-the art plug and play AV system, which was made possible by $3.5M in federal funding through PrairiesCan.
“The possibilities presented by this facility are endless,” says Warkentin. “This will be a jewel of the community, a place where southern Albertans can come together to celebrate, to hold community events and to conduct business. But it also gives us the ability to bring in large national and international events, and become a real driver of the local economy. We can’t wait for our community to see it.”
The Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre is funded by the Government of Alberta, through Alberta’s Recovery Plan, the City of Lethbridge, which will maintain ownership of the land, and a 30-year loan secured against the future operations of the facility.
About Lethbridge & District Exhibition
Lethbridge & District Exhibition is the premiere destination for bringing people together from all over the world in Lethbridge. We accelerate economic opportunity through the delivery of memorable experiences. The 268,000 square foot Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre will serve as an economic driver of growth for Alberta’s agriculture, agri-food and tourism sectors. Once completed this spring, the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre is expected to contribute more than $90 million annually to the regional economy. For more information, please visit agrifoodhub.ca.