‘It’s really lucky no one got hurt’: Bozeman park pavilion roof partially collapses

Posted at 8:24 AM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 10:25:30-04

BOZEMAN – A Bozeman park remains closed after part of a roof collapsed over a popular ice rink.

City officials confirm that Bogert Park is roped off until further notice while they figure out what happened to the pavilion — and if it could collapse further.

The park is closed and structural engineers were there throughout Monday afternoon, clearing snow and assessing the damage.

The city park superintendent says since this is a public park, it was open when this happened.

Some claim there were several skaters on the ice at the time while others who use this park say it’s lucky no one was hurt.

“It’s really lucky,” says Andrew Williamson, who has frequented the park since 2017. “I mean, people could get injured so easily.”

A blockade of yellow tape and orange closed signs surround Bogert Park, keeping the public at bay after the roof of the rink caved in.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Williamson says. “I mean, I was just running the half-marathon this last Saturday and was going by, thinking about how cool it is to have something like that around and then to know that just a day later, it partially collapsed, it’s a huge bummer.”

“I was surprised to see it on this roof just because it’s not exactly your typical flat roof,” says Leo Crane.

Leo and his son, Theo, enjoy the park regularly — but not on Monday.

Bogart Park Collapse
The City of Bozeman has closed Bogert Park until further notice and is working with structural engineers to determine the cause of the collapse. (MTN News photo)

“When we come and visit the park, it’s not something we think of, whether it’s roofs collapsing or trees falling and so coming over here, I was kind of a little curious to see what the caution tape was for,” Crane says.

“Nobody was hurt, which is great because we had an epic ice year,” said City of Bozeman park and sewer superintendent Thom White who added he started getting calls around 9 o’clock Sunday night.

“It’s a curved, laminated roof but the snow sticks on the north side,” White says. “We don’t know yet exactly if the snow is 100-percent the cause but there’s a lot of snow up on those roofs.”

Thom says all roads into Bogert Park are closed for good reason. This was only a partial collapse, he says, and more could follow suit.

Others who use the park regularly say they hope this yellow tape is removed soon.

“It’s definitely a community park set in the neighborhood and it is used for a variety of things, so it is important and that is why we are on it so early,” White says.

“Oh, it’s a great park,” Crane says. “To have something like this in town, it’s a great park to be able to come to with kids and we certainly love coming here when we can.”

The park superintendent says right now they want people to avoid the park and heed all of the closed signs carefully. In the meantime, he says the city is working hard to get the right answers.

-Cody Boyer reporting for MTN News