Opinion

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Guest Column

Second Life for Depot Park Building

The building will be moved rather than demolished

In January the City of Whitefish advertised the Depot Park – Phase 1 project as part of a number of projects that will upgrade the park facilities. The project involved the demolition of the old BN Park Federal Credit Union building that has been occupied by the City of Whitefish Planning and Building Department for the last couple of years. The building is located in the southwest corner of Depot Park across from the O’Shaughnessy Center.

On Feb. 21, Cutting Edge Excavation was awarded the Depot Park – Phase 1 project. Upon being awarded the bid, our vice president Marc Blanden struggled with the thought of having to demolish the building. Demolition didn’t seem like the environmentally friendly way to address this project, knowing the excessive amount of debris that would be added to an already swelling landfill. During a project review, Marc presented myself with the idea of moving the building rather than going through with the city plan of demolition. From there, Marc took a vigorous path toward piecing together a way to save the building. Due to the city having a tight schedule for reclaiming the park area prior to the summer season, we weren’t afforded much time to find a home for the building. Marc contacted various building movers, contractors, and officials to fast track the possibility of relocating the building. After many arduous days of putting schedules together, and reviewing the extensive costs associated with the move, we made the decision to start the project with a potential move in mind rather than a demolition.

Marc was able to secure the services of Steve Kinniburgh with Kalispell Structural Moving to commit to the tight schedule necessary for the building move. Still not able to find a home for the building, nor find a way to finance the project, we explored the possibilities of retaining the building for our own use. Only having a couple of days to make a decision, we went out on a limb and decided to retain the building for our own office at our MT Highway 40 facility. Thanks to Reed at Ron Platke Construction, we were able to get a foundation constructed for the building’s new home. As of now we are looking at moving the building the week of April 22. I wanted to inform the folks that have been stopping by the project and expressing their concerns about the building being demolished, it will not. We have yet to secure funding for reconstruction but will continue working toward moving the structure. I also wanted to publicly share this achievement with the folks of Whitefish, and thank Marc, and the other contractors who have helped make this move possible.

Kraig Trippel is the owner of Cutting Edge Excavation.

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