October 20, 2008
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, NPS
, 406 888-5838
Contact: Alicia Thompson, GPI
, 406 892-6712
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier Park, Inc. (GPI), a concessioner in Glacier National Park, has awarded a construction contract to Swank Enterprises of Kalispell, Mont., for the construction of a new employee dormitory near Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park’s Lake McDonald Valley.
The concessioner-funded construction of the new dormitory will begin late October 2008 and continue over the winter with completion anticipated by summer 2009.
The new dormitory was first conceptualized and approved in the park’s 2005 Commercial Service Plan/Environmental Impact Statement which was completed by the National Park Service at Glacier after an extensive public involvement process. The new dormitory will house approximately 43 employees and will replace housing provided in three other buildings currently located at the lodge complex in the vicinity of Snyder Creek.
According to Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright, “The buildings to be replaced lie in the flood zone of Snyder Creek and have significant life health issues. The utility systems that service the buildings also need replacing.” Cartwright noted, “Rather than put additional funds toward rehabilitating these structures and the utility systems within the flood zone, the decision was made to relocate the housing into a new structure away from the flood area.” The new dormitory will be located adjacent to the Lake McDonald Post Office near the Going-to-the-Sun Road and is compatible with the architectural design of the historic Lake McDonald Lodge, a National Historic Landmark.
The new dormitory will provide double occupancy rooms with individual bathrooms for each dorm room that will allow GPI a more flexible type of housing.
“As employment demographics at western national parks have changed in recent decades, it has been increasingly difficult for park concessioners to retain summer employees for the entire work season. This new facility will greatly enhance GPI’s ability to attract and hire employees who are not constrained by college schedules,” said Cartwright.
After the dormitory construction is completed and when funding is available, the old dormitories will be removed from the flood zone as planned for in the Commercial Service Plan.
According to Cartwright, “Removal of the old, dilapidated dormitories will provide additional space for expanded parking that is needed for the entire lodge complex and adjacent hiking trails.”
Editor’s Note: A high resolution (300 dpi) color image of the Lake McDonald Lodge Dorm is available for your use by clicking on ‘Dorm.’