Spanning the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Cypress Hills campground is Canada's only interprovincial park. The highest point between the Rocky Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Cypress Hills boasts a rich pioneering history and a longstanding reputation as one of the largest and most desirable campgrounds in Western Canada.
Cypress Hills offers guests a wide range of activities, such as an immersive equestrian camping experience, a luxurious resort, water activities, and both rustic and full-service campgrounds.
Cypress Hills has several interconnected campground networks in both provinces, the newest one planned for consumer use for the Canada Day long weekend, dubbed Pine Hills.
The opportunity to help bring the Pine Hills campsite to life in this historic interprovincial park was a significant honour for the Southwest and Midwest Design & Construction Team.
Our team was responsible for building from the ground up - from hiring sub-trades to constructing roads to constructing buildings.
The Midwest team began construction in May of 2021, and we are on track for our projected completion date at the end of June 2022.
Pine Hills will have 60 campsites, 18 of which will be full-service (in this case, full service includes power, water, and sewer services). The remaining 42 sites will have power services only.
The sites are of various sizes and orientations; some are pull-through, some have tree backing for privacy, and many can accommodate large Recreational Vehicles.
Our project scope included the construction of the campsites, a shower building, four outhouses, underground utility installation, and various access road construction.
Our main goal was to honour the rich history of the Cypress Hills network by keeping the design and functionality as in tune with nature as possible. This is a delicate balance; it’s vital to ensure consumers have access to the comforts of modern living while balancing out the natural status of the development.
While our Southwest contingent had done a campground in the past in the Waterton National Park, our Midwest team had yet to enter into this unique arena.
Rather than an obstacle, we saw this as an opportunity to leverage our 40 years of experience in the construction industry. While Midwest perhaps had not done a campground, we have plenty of familiarity with the work to be completed, such as site work, building construction, project management, subcontractor management, and sourcing local material.
The Bidding Process
Where Cypress Hills is an (inter) provincial park, this job was publicly tendered. Instead of automatically selecting the lowest bidder, the tender was based on a multi-faceted point system.
Additionally, the Pine Hills project operates as a government stimulus program, which seeks to boost the area’s economy by hiring local (specifically indigenous) sub-trades and sourcing local materials as much as possible.
Before actual bidding, however, during the pre-qualification process, we submitted formal paperwork on why the Southwest Midwest team was the best fit for the Pine Hills project. The pre-qualification process, as well as the point system, focused primarily on the overall price, contractor experience, methodology, and preparedness for COVID-19.
The preparedness for COVID-19 portion focused on how well we were prepared to circumvent issues and consequences of the virus, such as supply chain issues, material scarcity, and ensuring that said materials made it to the job site when required.
The project site is about an hour and a half away from our location in Alberta, so we couldn’t drop in as often as we desired, so we employed dedicated supervision to keep things moving at an efficient pace.
As far as material scarcity and supply chain issues go, we leveraged our experience and reputation with suppliers to ensure minimal delays in delivering relevant materials to the job site.
It’s important to note that much of the work was seasonal and wholly dependent on rainfall amounts during the warmer months when we can feasibly work. Luckily, we had a dry summer in 2021 - so much of the site work was done on schedule.
As of now, the project is 90 percent complete. We focused on interior work during the cold winter months, and now that spring has arrived, we’ve shifted our focus to the finishing touches. This includes finishing the access and trunk roads, manicuring the campsites, installing the power services, and ensuring the sites are ready for consumer use.
In June, we’ll commission the water services for applicable campsites, the shower building, and the outhouses. This will bring the project to completion in time for prime camping season.
The team at Southwest and Midwest Design & Construction are thrilled to have been a part of this project. Not only did we have the honour of working on such a historical landmark, but we also added to our ever-growing project repertoire.
We may not have been the lowest bidder, but our experience and readiness to problem-solve shone through.
Contact Southwest And Midwest Design & Construction
Want to learn more about our construction services? Contact the team at Southwest and Midwest Design & Construction with our convenient online quote request tool. A member of our staff will be in touch to discuss project details and the next steps.