A Great Falls construction company will rebuild Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park beginning this summer. The Sprague Fire in August 2017 badly burnt the historic chalet, and its rebuilding is funded by a combination of federal dollars, private donations, and a $1.2 million property insurance reimbursement.
The National Park Service plans to rebuild the chalet in two phases, this first from July 2018 to mid-fall, and the next in 2019. The NPS awarded Dick Anderson Construction of Great Falls, MT a $4.08 million contract to complete the first phase of construction.
Officials commented on the public support for rebuilding the chalet. Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said "Throughout our design process, we heard from visitors around the world about the significance of the Sperry Chalet visitor experience". Glacier National Park Conservancy Executive Director Doug Mitchell said, "The outpouring of support for this project has been inspiring".
National Park Service officials say they want to rehabilitate the Sperry Chalet Dormitory to reflect its historical significance. The building has hosted Glacier National Park guests since 1914.
The National Park Service will oversee the rebuilding of the chalet within its original stone masonry walls in its original site, while making updates including using fire resistant materials, seismic bracing, and following modern building codes. But officials say the experience for visitors will be like it has been for decades, as officials salvage historic materials and replicate the historic finishes that were destroyed by the fire.
After the Sprague Fire destroyed the Sperry Chalet and burnt thousands of acres of Glacier National Park, the Glacier Conservancy raised $200,000, which was used to preserve the remains of the historic building through winter. The contract awarded to Dick Anderson Construction consists of federal funds. Phase 2 of the rebuilding, slated for 2019, will provide additional protection for the building from extreme weather and will be funded both privately and publicly.