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This drawing shows the Federal Building on the left with the new Centennial Plaza that would extend the Alberta Legislature grounds to 99th Avenue. (Government of Alberta)

The Alberta government has revealed the redevelopment of the landmark Federal Building in Edmonton will include an outdoor skating rink, retail shops and restaurants.

"Restoring this historically significant building is going to add to this beautiful legislature site. It's going to help rejuvenate downtown Edmonton," Jack Hayden, Alberta minister of Infrastructure, said at a news conference Thursday in the lobby of the building.

The art deco structure, which was designed in 1939 and built in the 1950s, has sat empty since 1989.

Plans include the construction of a new pavilion on the west side of the building with restaurants, stores, a visitor information centre and public washrooms.

The plaza outside the west entrance will connect the Alberta legislature grounds to the south with 99th Avenue to the north, and will have green space and water features, and be home to the skating rink in the winter.

A new 650-stall underground parkade will eliminate some of the surrounding surface parking lots. The renovations are also intended to bring the building to a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold rating, with a green roof, new energy-efficient windows, and a modern heating and cooling system.

Work on the plaza and the parkade, a project estimated at $356 million, is scheduled to finish by fall 2011.

Once the renovations are complete in 2011, the building will be home to people who now working at the aging Terrace and Annex buildings, including cabinet ministers, members of the legislature, and staff from the legislative assembly and the Finance and Enterprise Ministry.

Work on the building started earlier this year. Crews have been removing hazardous materials from the interior as well as excavating the site for the parkade.

The building, which was designed by Edmonton architect George Heath MacDonald, was acquired by the province during a land swap. It was the home of federal employees in Edmonton until the opening of Canada Place, in the late 1980s.