After several years of restoring the last standing tipple in Canada, the final restoration project will be completed in 2017.
"What we had done with the tipple is just more important structural stuff. We have one more phase to go, which I am currently fundraising for. Phase 4 will start this fall and Phase 4 should finish off the restoration of the tipple," stated Jay Russell, Curator and acting Executive Director for the Atlas Coal Mine.
"We're very excited that the tipple is finished and in Phase 4 we will finish off the roof. We have access to the lower parts of the tipple, the lower shaker screens, and I'd love to be able to take people in there. We're trying to make it accessible to the public to take them to spots to interpret elements of the tipple we haven't done before. There's all kind of new things to happen with the tipple that we're really excited about."
Russell added that this is the country's last standing tipple and Drumheller's mines were integral to the fulfillment of the development of Canada.
Unfortunately, the tipple renovations are not cheap.
"At the moment we are filing grants and starting to do our fundraising. If all goes well Phase 4 will take place in 2017, the centennial of Atlas Coal Mine," outlined Russell. "It's a quarter of a million dollars. Every time we do this is about a quarter of a million dollars. We will put in, in about five or six years, a million dollars into the tipple."
"That money stays here because once that building's restored, we continue to have tens of thousands of people coming through the coal mine to see its history. I should mention that we think we're going to hit 500,000 (visitors) sometime mid-season in 2017," expressed Russell.