Dormitory Relocations to Begin at Lake McDonald Lodge in October
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier Park, Inc. (GPI), a concessioner in Glacier National Park, has awarded contracts to Swank Enterprises of Kalispell, Mont., for the relocation of three dormitories, the construction of a new waterline and improved flood water detention areas near Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park.
These concessioner-funded projects will move the three dormitories from their current location near Snyder Creek to a site adjacent to the new Lewis Dormitory (completed in May 2009) near the Lake McDonald Post Office and Going-to-the-Sun Road. A new water line and improved areas to detain water during heavy rains or flooding will be built to support the relocated buildings.
“Relocating these dormitories helps implement the vision conceptualized and approved in the park’s 2004 Commercial Services Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (CSP/EIS),” said Chas Cartwright, superintendent at Glacier. “This vision includes consolidating employee housing and moving employee housing away from the flood plain, upgrading housing conditions, providing adequate visitor and employee parking, and improving separation of employee and guest functions.”
After relocation, the three buildings will be improved to include new restroom facilities and installation of fire suppression and alarm systems. The projects will begin in October 5, 2009, and continue over the winter, with completion anticipated by the summer of 2010.
“We are pleased to support these efforts to address life, health and safety issues identified in the CSP/EIS.” Cartwright added. “We hope to be able to continue these efforts with planning for other concessioner funded projects including another new dormitory, new employee dining facilities, and improved parking at the Lake McDonald Lodge. The CSP/EIS for the Lake McDonald Developed Area also planned for improving the range of visitor accommodations, improving the sense of arrival to the historic lodge, and improving the visitor experience by providing a central, consolidated parking area away from the entry boulevard.”
To this end, planning is underway for a new dormitory which will include a new employee dining facility. Construction of this building near the new Lewis Dormitory is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2010 and be completed by spring of 2011. As planned for in the CSP, employees currently housed in Cobb House and Snyder dormitories will be relocated to this new facility allowing those historic buildings to be renovated as additional visitor lodging including some lower cost / economy accommodations. The new employee dining facility will relocate that dining function from the entrance to the Lake McDonald Lodge making way for improvements to the working conditions in the main lodge kitchen and further separating guest and employee functions.
The current site of the three relocated dormitories has been identified in the CSP/EIS as a location to be considered for much-needed visitor and employee parking. Site analysis, design and additional compliance review for this area will begin in 2010.
The Lake McDonald Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and Lake McDonald Lodge was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Glacier National Park’s CSP was completed by the National Park Service after an extensive public involvement process in 2004. The Record of Decision (ROD) was signed by then NPS Intermountain Regional Director Stephen Martin on August 20, 2004. The ROD and CSP/FEIS are available on the park’s web site at: http://www.nps.gov/glac/parkmgmt/planning.htm
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Did You Know?
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.