Fort Edmonton Park expansion 'meeting all of the deadlines'
Almost a year into Fort Edmonton Park's expansion, officials say the project is slated to finish on time and within its $165-million budget.
"It’s a pretty remarkable feeling," said the park's president and CEO, Darren Dalgleish.
"To be part of the early stages of the concept and design of what these will look like, and then to actually walk in the facility and see the incredible work that’s been done."
Fort Edmonton Park was closed for the 2019 season to make room for construction in four areas, including the creation of a new 35,000-square-foot exhibit called the Indigenous Peoples Experience.
"In terms of layout, location, artifacts, storytelling, all of the rest of that stuff, so it’s truly going to be a representation of the local Indigenous peoples’ stories and their history," Dalgleish explained.
The expansion of the park's 1920s-style midway will see it double in size, and gain new games and tents. Although it'll be finished by the end of the year, the midway will remain closed to the public until construction has finished.
The two other sub-projects are the building of a new front entry plaza and guest services area, and an expansion of Hotel Selkirk.
Officials told CTV News Edmonton about $10 million still needs to be fundraised for the former project.
The entire project is expected to be finished by December 2020, so that the park can host a grand reopening during the 2021 May long weekend.
"It's still very wet out there but we’re meeting all of the deadlines and benchmarks," Dalgleish told CTV News Edmonton.
The project's timeline was condensed from three years so that it could open for an extra season. The park loses about $3 million each year it is closed.
All three levels of government contributed money for the expansion: the federal government nearly $48 million, the provincial government $33.5 million, and the City of Edmonton $72.6 million. The Fort Edmonton Foundation is also raising $10 million.
With files from Amanda Anderson