GREAT FALLS – The grandstands at the Montana ExpoPark experienced its last fair this past week as the seating area will soon come down.
On Sunday morning, Cascade County Public Works began preparing the stands for demolition. The department is clearing out anything they will be able to reuse or recycle.
Cascade County Public Works Director Brian Clifton said the grandstands are about 80 years old and the under section was closed this year due to falling cement.
The grandstands are not the only venue at the fairgrounds being replaced as the Paddock Club will also be remodeled during the construction phase.
“Put a new kitchen in there and a new conference room. The surrounding ground will get new concert, walkways, asphalt, so it will not be as hard to walk and maneuver around. We are excited. It’s a good improvement that the board of county commissioners have approved for this facility,” Clifton said.
The demolition of the grandstands begins on August 20 and should take about two weeks.
Construction of the new grandstands will then begin and that phase will extend through December.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News
(May 8, 2018) The Montana ExpoPark will look a little different at the end of the year.
In a special meeting on Monday, the Cascade County Commissioners decided to demolish the grandstand seating area and purchase its replacement.
“In order to do this, it takes about 120 days just to get the steel ordered and in place to get the fabrication and so, if you’re looking at that, we’re already into early fall by the time we’re 120 days out,” said Jane Weber, Cascade County Commissioner. “We made the decision today so we can move forward with that project and that’s over $2 million.”
The demolition project will include the removal of everything from the site and cost close to $73,000.
The over 80-year-old structure is still safe to sit in, but concrete slabs are falling from underneath making it hazardous to be under the grandstands.