Park Service to Fast Track Sperry Rebuild Decision

A final decision on what to do with remains of dormitory will be made next month

By Justin Franz
Stabilization efforts at the Sperry Chalet. Courtesy NPS

Glacier National Park officials have announced they will make a decision this spring on what to do with the remains of the Sperry Chalet, the historic wilderness dormitory that was destroyed in a wildfire last summer.

According to a press release from the National Park Service, officials were “accelerating its environmental assessment schedule” for the project and would have a draft environmental assessment available by the middle of this month with a final decision on what to do with the site by mid-May.

According to the press release, the Park Service received nearly 400 comments from the public on what to do with the dormitory walls that remained following the August 2017 wildfire. Nearly three-quarters of the comments supported a plan to rebuild the chalet with some modernizations, while retaining the chalet’s historic features and character.

About 5 percent of respondents favored a plan to build a new dorm away from the current site in an area where it would be less prone to avalanches. Another 5 percent preferred turning the chalet remains into a tent-site and four percent suggested letting the site return to a natural state.

“Overall, public comments expressed strong interest in retaining the historic character of the Sperry experience,” park officials wrote.

Park officials said they wanted to accelerate the environmental assessment process so that they could conduct additional structure stabilization over the summer. A number of support beams were installed last fall and so far they have helped the walls withstand a deep snow load.


Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.