Demolition starts Monday for grandstands at Montana Expo Park

Demolition of the grandstands at Montana Expo Park starts Monday.

Crews have been working during the last few weeks to remove wiring, shut off any electricity or water lines, and pull out aluminum bleachers.
Paddock Club to be remodeled along with grandstand project at Expo Park

The aluminum pieces will be reused with wooden bleachers around the fairgrounds, according to county Public Works Director Brian Clifton.

Clifton told The Electric that the earliest photo they’ve found with the current grandstands showing is dated 1931.

The current grandstands were dragged to their current location to replace an earlier set of stands, according to county officials.

On Monday, the contractor and media are arriving at 6 a.m. It will likely take the contractor some time to set up and get started. Clifton said the contractor is using machinery that will pinch through the bleachers until it can reach the support beams to make the structure collapse. It’s not expected to be a quick and sudden demolition.

Crews have also been cleaning out the Paddock Club since that building is a steel frame and it will be deconstructed and rebuilt on the inside.

The county had a pre-bid walk through at the Paddock Club on Aug. 13 and bids were due Aug. 17, Clifton said.

The projects are being combined to save some time and money since concrete, grading and other site work is needed for both of the facilities, which neighbor each other.
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The new grandstand structure will be similar in size, but extend about six to eight feet toward the track and the overhang will be a taller structure, Clifton told The Electric.

New storm drains and sidewalks will be installed making it a “much nicer facility,” Clifton said.

The new grandstands won’t have the area underneath for betting windows or other activities, Clifton said.

Demolition of the grandstands is scheduled to take about two weeks and the replacement project has a target completion date of Dec. 31.

The county has reclaimed and salvage what it can from the existing facilities to save money, Clifton said, and during the project, the 1,000 watt metal halide lights will be changed over to LED, for an anticipated energy savings.

Monday also marks the start of a roof replacement project at the county offices in the Executive Plaza building at the corner of 2nd Avenue North and 4th Street North.
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A section of that building was reroofed last year, Clifton said, and this section should take about 2.5 months.