JOLIET — The town of Joliet has recently completed phase one of an exciting community project. Next, the construction of a unique community pavilion will begin.
When driving through Montana, grain bins can easily be spotted on the many farming properties. They are intended to store grain and other materials for feed and fuel. Yet, some creative builders have found a way to give old grain bins new life.
The tops of old grain bins are now being used to craft unique pavilions.
The town of Joliet was awarded a grant from the JCDA group a few years ago that is now being used to fund a community project, along with community donations.
The project features a 20' grain pavilion and winding sidewalk, located right in the middle of town off Highway 212 and Main Street. Once completed, the pavilion has the potential to house orchestra concerts, wedding ceremonies, and even part of the local farmer's market.
Mayor of Joliet Dakota Mitchem explains that the town's beautification committee started this project. The committee was put into place years ago in an effort to make Joliet "A nicer looking town," and "...attract more tourism to Joliet," says Mitchem.
The pavilion is intended to connect the community to downtown, as well as attract tourism. The roof will come from a recycled grain bin, bringing new life to old materials.
This unique trend is being seen all over the country. One man started a company to focus on the repurposing of these grain bins.
Zack King has been able to build over 200 of these pavilions for his company, Hinged Bins. The company is based in Kentucky, but I was able to speak with King on Zoom about what they do.
"I saw an opportunity because there are so many available grain bins around. So I started working with local farmers," explains King.
After a grain bin has reached the end of its life, King and his crew work to disassemble the bin, and then use the top to construct these structures.
"Other people pretty much think it's junk," says King. "It's most rewarding. It's quite enjoyable, and I take much pride in what I do."
These pavilions are a great way to recycle and be sustainable— and can be very eye-catching.
The project in Joliet is still a work in progress, and more donations are needed to complete the pavilion. There is a donation fund set up inside of the Bank of Joliet to cover the rest of the costs.
"This is just an amazing testament to the beautification committee to try and make Joliet a nicer-looking town," says Mitchem. "People are loving a lot of the projects that we've been doing lately to try to continue to beautify the town."