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Council receives update on repurposing review of Exhibition Pavilions

City Council today received an update on the repurposing review of the Main, North, South and West pavilions as well as Heritage Hall and Safety City buildings located on the Exhibition grounds.

Although a detailed analysis of the study is not fully complete, the initial information indicates the building structures and foundations are generally sound. However, approximately $1.6 million would be required to replace essential components in the next five years to address maintenance deficits and age-related needs. Examples include HVAC systems, roofs, windows, siding, electrical distribution systems and emergency systems.

An additional $6.4 million investment would be required for less critical needs including parking lot resurfacing and lighting as well as replacement of flooring and plumbing fixtures. Over the next six to 25 years, the buildings would require further investment in upkeep and renewal estimated at $30 million. This does not include any costs to repurpose these old facilities. 

In light of the new facility with ample space on the same site, and based on the medium and long-term investment required, council heard that it may not be viable to retain the old buildings. 

“We will continue to do our due diligence with the investigation of these facilities,” says Councillor Ryan Parker who brought forward the resolution to do the repurposing review. “Having a clear understanding and detailed analysis of these buildings will help Council in their decision-making process.”

In March of 2023, the Lethbridge & District Exhibition presented to the City’s Economic Standing Policy Committee seeking funding for the demolition of the old pavilions. In May, Council brought forward a motion to investigate the repurposing of the pavilions and a consultant was engaged to complete that work.

City administration received the extensive report on December 7 and will be fully reviewing it in the coming weeks to consider the findings in greater detail.

“There has been an immense amount of work undertaken over the last several months,” says Jason Elliott, Director of Corporate Services for the City of Lethbridge. “We now need time to go through that in more detail and evaluate what that would mean for the City.”

As per Council’s direction, the City’s Recreation and Culture team has also initiated a functional review of the buildings to evaluate potential recreational uses for the space and further exploring the needs of the community.


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