GREAT FALLS – 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.
(March 19, 2018) Some changes will be coming to this summer’s events at the Montana ExpoPark in Great Falls.
The area under the grandstands is dealing with some decay after rough weather and decades of wear.
Some loose concrete is falling from under the seating area, making it a safety hazard for anything happening underneath the stands.
However, sitting in the stands is safe and has passed inspection, according to Cascade County Commissioner Jane Weber.
“The grandstands are perfectly safe to sit in and we’re excited to run the horse-racing this summer just as we have,” said Weber. “The betting windows is the change and that we’re excited to have the rodeo this year during the state fair. Everybody should feel comfortable that the inspection by the engineers have said, ‘Go ahead and have people sit in it, just don’t have people walk underneath it.’”
The betting windows will be moved into remodeled storage containers which will then be placed by the Paddock Club.
The Patriot Night Dinner will also be moved from under the Grandstand into a giant, circus-like tent, according to Weber.
Reporting by Kaley Collins for MTN News