Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Resort replaces communications facility

Structure on Baldy replaces one that burned down in February

Express Staff Writer

A new communications building on Bald Mountain is located on the former site of the upper station of the Flying Squirrel chairlift. The chairlift and an old communications facility at the site burned in a fire last winter. Photo by Willy Cook

    A joint collaboration between Sun Valley Co. and local builders and architects has culminated in a new communications building on Bald Mountain to replace the one that burned down in February.
    The building—located at the top of Picabo’s Street ski run on the Warm Springs side of Baldy—helps provide cell service to the Warm Springs area of Ketchum, Board Ranch and the area north of Ketchum, Sun Valley Co. spokesman Jack Sibbach said.
    The Flying Squirrel Communications Building was recently completed by KMV Builders and Ruscitto Latham Blanton Architects, a Sept. 26 news release from KMV Builders President Steve Kearns stated.
    “KMV completed the project on-budget and three weeks ahead of schedule,” Kearns said.
    Sibbach said the new cellular wireless facility is officially operational and supports four major phone carriers, including AT&T and Verizon.
    The Feb. 1 fire burned down the upper station of the Flying Squirrel chairlift, some proximal snowmaking equipment and the old communications facility, as well as part of the chairlift line. The Ketchum Fire Department completed its investigation Feb. 6 and ruled that the fire was caused by a malfunction in a snowmaking compressor oil cooler.
    The blaze caused a temporary loss in cell phone reception to users in Warm Springs and north Ketchum areas and necessitated the need for two makeshift towers to be built just west of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation building in Warm Springs.  

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