Glacier National Park and Columbia Falls High School Celebrate the School-to-Park Partnership
West Glacier, MT – Glacier National Park and Columbia Falls High School announce the completion of the first cabin built through the School-to-Park partnership. This innovative program "creates an authentic learning experience that helps inspire today’s students to positively shape tomorrow’s world and build life skills they can use today,” says Jim Foster, park Chief of Facilities Management.
Glacier National Park will celebrate the students who participated in this School-to-Park program and the completion of the first 18’x26’ cabin to be placed at the Polebridge Ranger Station area of the park. Bob Jellison, a National Park Service carpenter working with the students had this to say, “It was a fantastic experience working with the Columbia Falls High school students. Their dedication and focus combined with a strong work ethic made this a successful project." The students will have an opportunity in days to come to see the cabin and receive their professional tool belts to celebrate the hard work they invested into this cabin since September 2019.
Students were selected through a competitive vetting process to participate in this program. The overall program focused on building layout, material take-offs, cost-estimating, and the full spectrum of building a completely functioning house. The program helps prepare the students for careers in engineering, construction, and business leadership. Students in future years will build additional cabins to alleviate seasonal staff housing shortages in various areas of the park. They will also construct other buildings as needed such as the new Camas Road Entrance Station.
“This is another great example of how the Glacier National Park community comes together to make great things happen,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “The Glacier National Park Conservancy was a key partner in getting this project off the ground, we’re so excited about this partnership with Columbia Falls High School, and we know that several private businesses provided contributions to the needs of the program.”
Due to COVID-19, Columbia Falls High School was closed on March 16, 2020. Bob Jellison continued working to complete the final steps in finishing the cabin and preparing it for transport. Glacier National Park and school representatives will be on site at the Columbia Falls High School to see the cabin begin its move to Glacier National Park on May 12.