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Crew completes stabilization efforts on Montana dormitory

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KALISPELL, Mont. - The efforts to stabilize the remains of a historic Montana dormitory that was severely damaged by an Aug. 31 wildfire are done.

A 10-person national park crew was flown from the Sperry Chalet hotel building on Monday after working for two weeks to brace the structure in a race against winter conditions.

The exterior rock walls of the structure built in 1914 survived the fire, which completely burned out interior floors and the roof. The crew's main focus was to maintain the stone masonry walls. Outlying buildings including the kitchen, dining room and utility cabin also survived the blaze.

"Right now, you know, we have had crews up there for the last couple of weeks, bracing those walls; they're bracing the gables at the top of those walls, and they are putting collars around the chimneys to protect them from that snow," said Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley.

After the snow passes and the summer warmth comes workers will really be able to assess the damage. Then they can start to rebuild and restore the Sperry Chalet for future visitors to Glacier National Park.

"This has been a beloved structure, a beloved place that people have taken their families to for over a century making those memories at the park," Alley said.

The Glacier National Park Conservancy covered the cost of stabilization efforts by raising $111,200 from private donors. The remaining funds will be set aside to pay for work specific to the Sperry Chalet next year.

The Glacier National Park Conservancy set up a page for people to donate to the efforts of restoring the dormitory. If you want to donate you can click here.

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