The company selected to begin the rebuild of Glacier National Park’s famous Sperry Chalet has a history of working on historical preservation projects, and its employees are beyond happy they were chosen for the job.
“When you know you will be able to tell your grandchildren some day that you worked on this, that’s pretty stinkin’ cool,” Josh DeVos said.
DeVos is a full-time project manager for Helena-based Dick Anderson Construction. He runs the company’s Great Falls office, which was awarded a $4 million contract Tuesday by the National Park Service to take on the first phase of the Sperry rebuild. The chalet burned in a wildfire last year.
“Not everybody is excited to go out of town on a job, but for this, everyone is looking forward to it. I haven’t seen this level of excitement,” DeVos said. “Obviously, we were ecstatic when we heard the news and we’re also thrilled to be a local contractor doing the job.”
It’s not the first time Dick Anderson Construction has worked in Glacier. DeVos said a few company employees remain from when it worked on Sperry Chalet from 1996 to 1998. That project involved installing a new composting toilet facility and redoing the kitchen in the lodge.
Dick Anderson Construction has also worked on various other jobs inside the park and has worked in Yellowstone National Park as well.
DeVos explained that they will work to stabilize Sperry’s stone walls, complete some footer work, finish the log framing as well as putting in a new floor. Workers will also work to install roof sheeting that will protect the interior from ice, snow and water.
“We won’t be putting the roof on, but the goal is to get it where the Interior is protected from the elements,” DeVos said.
There will be double shifts, seven days a week until the snow halts operations, DeVos said.
While helicopters will ferry the bulk of the supplies to the chalet and mules will pack some smaller items in, workers will get there either on foot or on horseback.
“We are thinking about flying [over Sperry] next week to see what the conditions are like, but it’s my understanding there is still quite a bit of snow up there and we’re anticipating not being able to begin until sometime next month,” DeVos said.
Dick Anderson Construction’s contract is only for the first phase of the project, which is expected to go from July through mid-autumn. The complete rebuild is expected to take two years. The park service has set aside $12 million for construction
Dick Anderson Construction is a Helena-based company with Montana offices in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls and Missoula. It also has offices in Redmond, Oregon, and Sheridan, Wyoming. It has been in business for more than 40 years, according to information on its website.
In 2016, the Montana Historical Society presented Dick Anderson Construction the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Historic Preservation Stewardship for the McKinley Elementary School in Billings.
Reporter Scott Shindledecker can be reached at (406) 758-4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.