Repairs to the Great Falls Civic Center continue


GREAT FALLS – Repair work on the Great Falls Civic Center is moving forward. As of Friday, scaffolding covered much of the exterior of the building.

Repairs to the Great Falls Civic Center continue

In 2020, the building’s facade was fenced off when a piece of the building’s facade fell.

A contract worth just over 5.4 million US dollars was awarded in April for the repair work.

Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly stated, “This is the preparation phase. They are building the scaffolding so that they have a safe environment to work and access and get on and off the human lifts here. These workers will all take their steps when noon time comes. They prepare the entire facade and also the roof, “said Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelly.

The work is expected to take around one and a half years.

(8 JULY 2020) The Civic Center in downtown Great Falls is getting a facelift soon. Although an exact schedule for construction is still uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have been completed and funding talks are currently underway. This could pave the way for a relatively quick process once a funding decision is made.

“We have known for a long time that there is a problem, it was difficult to find funding, I think the Commission has looked at different ways. One of the ways is to use funds from the tax increase funding, ”said Greg Doyon, City Manager of Great Falls. “The other method would be we’d have to go to the voters and they’d have to put a deposit on to do the repairs, and it’s probably between five and a half and six million dollars for the facade repairs and the roof because the roof also needs to be done. So we combine these two projects. Given the requests from other government agencies and the park maintenance district, there really wasn’t much appetite to ask voters to donate more, but then again, we have to be careful when things like this happen from it. “

The barriers currently shielding the building’s entrance doors from the public were erected after a piece of concrete fell from the building on the opposite side. As the concrete chunk landed on the roof of the convention center, city officials took this as a wake-up call and used it as an opportunity to assess the general condition of the building.

According to Doyon, previous architectural studies done at the Civic Center showed that the East Side is just as bad, if not worse, than the West Side. He went on to say that it was time to keep the public safe as chunks that size are coming out of the building.

“Not as long as I’ve been here,” Doyon said with a laugh when asked when the outside of the building was last built. “I mean, in the 12 years I’ve been here, there have been a lot of things inside, but outside we always knew there were some cracks.”

Once the studies have been completed, the city commissioners must decide how the project will be funded before it can continue. After that, the tendering and awarding process as well as the actual construction will probably not take too long, but only when these things can happen. With COVID-19 still affecting business operations and restricting access to some buildings, it can become a waiting game before the official repair plan can be finalized.


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