A potentially significant problem with Great Falls and Malmstrom Air Force Base’s plan to build a new aquatic center has developed.
Soil samples show the ground at the site chosen for the facility isn’t strong enough to support it.
As we reported in September, the city received a $10 million grant earlier this year from the Department of Defense for the project.
According to Great Falls City Manager Greg Doyon, soil sampling wasn’t done before selecting the site and applying for the grant because the city didn’t have the money.
Some of the grant money was used to pay for soil sampling. The problem with the soil doesn’t necessarily mean the aquatic center won’t be built though.
"We're going to continue to work with Malmstrom Air Force Base's Office of Economic Adjustment and the project engineers and architects to assess the best locations for the facility,” Doyon explained. “We went into this recognizing there would be some challenges there and now we’re starting to get better information to make assessments about what our options are on that particular site."
He said more information will be presented to City Commissioners when it becomes available.