Helena company wins contract for Sperry rebuild

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Sperry Chalet as seen from above in the summer of 2008. (Hungry Horse News file photo)

The National Park Service has awarded a $4.08 million contract to Helena-based Dick Anderson Construction to begin rebuilding the historic Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park.

The chalet was badly burned in August 2017 during the Sprague Fire that burned thousands of acres in the park. The project to rebuild the chalet on its original site will be completed in two phases, beginning this summer and continuing into 2019.

The first phase of the project awarded to Dick Anderson Construction will include permanent building stabilization, including roofing and interior seismic walls.

Sally Mayberry, a spokeswoman for the park service’s Denver Service Center, said Tuesday that the National Park Service bypassed the open bidding process when they awarded the contract. Mayberry said the Park Service needed to use an expedited contracting method in order to meet project deadlines.

A Park Service document dated May 8 that justified the contract being awarded outside of a full and open competition says the work must begin in July to permanently stabilize the burned chalet’s stone walls by fall.

The park Service decided to limit the bidding competition to four Montana companies, all large companies, that it identified through research.

Mayberry said two of the companies submitted bids.

The project’s total cost is expected to range between $8 million and $12 million.

The Park Service has set aside $12 million for construction, and insurance is expected to kick in $1.2 million next year. The Glacier National Park Conservancy also raised $200,000 for emergency stabilization of the stone walls.

“The outpouring of support for this project has been inspiring,” said Doug Mitchell, Executive Director of the Glacier National Park Conservancy. “We’re honored to help provide private, philanthropic support for this historic project.”

“The fact that we are here today to announce the award for Phase I of the Sperry rebuild speaks to the power of the Glacier community and partnership. Throughout our design process, we heard from visitors around the world about the significance of the Sperry Chalet visitor experience,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “I would like thank everyone who provided feedback and ideas about how we preserve that experience for the next 100 years. The award of the Phase I construction contract to Dick Anderson Construction puts us a long way towards that goal.”

The NPS will rebuild the Sperry Chalet Dormitory at its original site within the original stone masonry walls. Some critical updates will include meeting current building codes where applicable, and improvements to life safety features including seismic bracing and fire resistant materials.

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