Pointe-aux-Pins Acres represents a vital link to the importance of agriculture in our community. The vision for 'The Pointe' agriculture centre represents a deeply rooted sense of community, informed through collaborative discussions.
With current market uncertainty, Strathcona County must responsibly take note of the building market. There are significant supply chain challenges, a backlog of capital building demands on a local, provincial and national level, and tenders that were beyond the available budget.
Next steps include:
- Administration proceeding with a Progressive Design-Build delivery method for construction projects for the indoor arena and animal housing facility. Progressive Design-Build brings the design and construction team together at the beginning, allowing greater efficiency and providing more certainty of the cost to build.
- Construction of site utilities, roadways and parking, to support the building.
- The Progressive Design-Build tender for the Pointe-aux-Pins Acres’ arena building will close by the end of January. The bid is structured to encourage ‘market creativity’ that enables bidders to explore all options (not tied to previous public renditions). This tender will incorporate Council’s direction to include a concrete arena floor and building space to accommodate animal housing (as per Council motion, October 25, 2022).
- Administration will provide an update to Council in February 2023 regarding the procurement process.
- Meanwhile, Strathcona County continues its work on the site infrastructure, incorporating the valuable learnings and design work the County has invested in over the past several years.
Year-round agricultural and community activities
- Residents and visitors will meet at Pointe-aux-Pins Acres (The Pointe) for community agricultural activities and events.
- Residents will also gather at The Pointe for non-traditional agricultural activities and demonstration events such as vintage tractor pulls.
- It will be designed for year-round, all-weather use. Amenities will include an indoor arena and animal housing.
- The main building will be approximately 100,000 square feet, including the animal housing component
Spaces all residents can enjoy
- Safety-focus for humans and animals throughout the site.
- Opportunity for interaction with agriculture and the community.
- Functional support for events, with separate entrances for exhibitors and attendees
- Divisible multi-function room for meetings, educational opportunities, or to act as a support space during events
- WiFi and A/V integration throughout the building, as well as a state-of-the-art lighting control system to promote energy efficiency
About the name - Pointe-aux-Pins Acres (The Pointe)
- The name Pointe-aux-Pins Acres anchors the new amenity in community heritage. The Pointe is a destination where residents from across Strathcona County can enjoy agricultural and community events.
- The County considers the history of our community and points of interest in the local area or region when considering new facility names.
- Pointe-aux-Pins Creek is a significant water feature on Strathcona County’s landscape. One of only a few place names in the County known to have a French origin, the name translates literally as “pointed at the pines.” The creek flows into the North Saskatchewan River from the southeast—from the higher elevations in the Beaver Hills. In the late 1800s, Pointe-aux-Pins Creek was the last of four creek crossings for travellers making the 21-mile journey by land from Strathcona, at the north end of the Canadian and Edmonton railway line known as the “end of steel”, to Fort Saskatchewan.
A place to show the past, present and future of agriculture
- Pointe-aux-Pins Acres will be a community space where agriculture heritage and rural roots are preserved.
- It will complement Bremner Heritage Site, including Bremner House, a 5,400 square-foot home built by Charles Bremner in 1912 or 1913. Strathcona County Council purchased Bremner House in 2004 to preserve a piece of the community's heritage for future generations.
- Opportunities to see, learn, and get involved could include agri-educational opportunities.
- Close to Sherwood Park, Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan, Pointe-aux-Pins Acres is located on a 230-acre parcel of land surrounding the Bremner Heritage Site on Range Road 225 north of Township Road 534, approximately 15 minutes northeast of Sherwood Park.
- It will be easy to access from all directions - just off Highway 16, and close to major transportation routes including the Anthony Henday and Highway 21.
- Bicycle racks to make it a destination for cyclists as well
- Accessible parking and drop-off area
From the beginning, the vision for a multi-purpose agricultural facility was driven by the expressed need for agricultural recreation space in the community. Every step of the way, the project was built on sound decisions, research, planning and engagement. The design process on large infrastructure projects includes refinements at every stage, from concept development and throughout schematic design. Throughout this process, Strathcona County has confirmed direction with Council and the community to ensure the facility supports community needs.
Pointe-aux-Pins Acres project timeline
- October 25, 2022: Council directed administration to include a concrete arena floor and building space to accommodate animal housing.
- July 19, 2022: Council approved a new direction forward, which involves splitting the project into ‘now’ and ‘future’ phases.
- May 18, 2022 media release: Council directs administration to reduce scope and budget, with final budget consideration coming back to Council by Fall, 2022.
- September 15, 2021 media release: County continues operational planning for the Pointe, while construction is temporarily paused.
- On January 19, 2021, Council accepted the name for the site of the multi-purpose agricultural facility. The name Pointe-aux-Pins Acres, or The Pointe, anchors the new amenity in community heritage and highlights a destination where residents from across Strathcona County can enjoy agricultural and non-agricultural events, community, business conferences and social events.
- With its strategic ties to the County’s Agriculture Master Plan, the Pointe will be defined as a destination where people from across the county (and beyond) can enjoy agricultural and non-agricultural education and history, community and social events. The Pointe amplifies strong connections to the County’s Recreation and Culture Strategy’s focus on meeting community needs, environmental stewardship, inclusion and building overall capacity.
- On September 29, 2020, Strathcona County Council approved the funding for a regional multi-purpose agricultural facility. The total funding approved by Council for design and construction is $71.2 million which includes rural site preparation and servicing as well as building and amenities.
- On September 15, 2020, an economic impact report was presented to Council. The report projects the facility will contribute over $33 million to the local economy and generate 290 jobs over the first five years of operation.