Olds College will take an old-school approach to a ground-breaking ceremony for a new hotel on campus on Wednesday.
An early 20th-century plow will be used to signal the start of construction in a nod to a similar ceremony performed before the college’s opening in 1913.
Pomeroy Inn & Suites will be a four-star hotel, restaurant and convention centre with a commercial kitchen that will be used for training college students. Within the complex, the Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship will offer highly specialized programs for entrepreneurs.
The $14-million project will be built on five acres just north of the college’s Land Science Building. The Pomeroy Inn & Suites will build and operate the hotel and conference centre while its ownership will be shared with the college.
Construction is to take a little more than one year, with the new hotel ready in the fall of 2012.
New curriculum developed for the institute will include credit-based and continuing education in countryside management, local food production, alternative land-use management, rural hospital management, farm-fresh food sales, and tourism.
The sod-turning takes place at 2 p.m. on the north side of Olds College along Hwy 27.