Rimbey’s new $5.9-million multi-purpose facility, the Agrim Centre, is nearly complete.
“We’ve taken our first event bookings, and are looking for more,” said Tim Edge, president of the Rimbey Agricultural Society. “We’ve had a lot of interest in using the building already, so we wanted to get the word out that we are accepting bookings now.”
Construction began in the summer of 2013, and all the exterior walls, doors and windows are now in place. Work is underway on the interior of the 60,000-square-foot building.
“We’re planning to be operational the first of April,” said society vice-president Ken Whitelock. “We have a lot of construction to do inside to meet that date, but it’s going to happen.”
The parking lot is ready, and the sand is in the riding arena, waiting to be mixed and laid down after the heaters and fans are installed. While the kitchen and boardrooms won’t be finished, and bathroom facilities are limited, the organization is ready to receive riders, sales, 4-H shows and various other activities. The society also plans to repurpose the older facilities on their grounds into indoor box stalling, as funds allow.
Completion of phase one is close to 75 per cent debt free, and there is enough money in the bank to cover an entire year of mortgage payments, said Edge, adding the society is still seeking partnering sponsors.
The first booking is the fourth annual Ranch Horse Round Up Sale on April 25 in the facility.
“For me, it’s going to be a turnkey operation,” said sales manager Cory Glenn. “You walk in and everything you need is going to be there. They’ve put in a 30-foot door, which is the biggest one in Alberta. The facility is set up to accommodate anything you really want to do. You’re not going to have to do a lot of work to be able to put your functions on.”
The Great Canadian Performance Horse Sale will be held May 1-2, and several other events, such as 4-H shows, bull sales, team pennings, team ropings and mounted shooting competitions, have already secured their appearance in the building.