UM Selects East Broadway Site for New Missoula College Building
Oct. 02, 2013
MISSOULA – University of Montana President Royce Engstrom today announced that the East Broadway site will be the location for the new Missoula College building.
Engstrom made his selection after months of public comments, meetings and forums with interested UM students, University employees, elected officials and community members.
“I believe the East Broadway site will give us a distinctive opportunity to make a bold statement about UM and the role two-year education plays in the Missoula community and western Montana,” Engstrom said. “We will be able to implement more fully the Missoula College mission to serve the educational and work force needs of this region while placing a state-of-the-art facility in a showcase location near the entrance to Missoula and along the Clark Fork River. This places UM and Missoula College strongly in the public eye,” he said.
A feasibility study completed in July outlined plans for a multistory building along with parking and bicycle spaces at the site, which is across the river from the mountain campus and adjacent to UM’s MonTEC business incubator. The study showed no major impediments to developing the site and outlined a building with more than 155,000 gross square feet that could handle current and projected enrollment for Missoula College.
Plans also called for creating a total of 730 parking spaces on the site and on property across Broadway. Parking would cover Missoula College, MonTEC and Park-N-Ride users, according to the study conducted by Mark Headley of StudioFORMA Architects.
Missoula College at the University of Montana has a new name. Now the former UM College of Technology needs a new home. With $29 million in funding for a new building approved in the 2013 Montana Legislature, the next steps are to finalize a site and conduct detailed studies about the site. UM also needs to raise another $3 million in matching funds.
Offering excellent programs in everything from nursing and culinary arts to entrepreneurship and energy technology, Missoula College enrollment has skyrocketed in recent years. The original Administration Building was built in 1968 to accommodate 400 students, and another building added in 1978 allowed an enrollment of 700. The college now serves about 2,200 students.
Approximately 30 disciplines and programs would move to the new building, which would provide more space for classrooms, instructional laboratories, conference rooms, counseling rooms, a library, common areas and faculty offices. The new facility also would offer a temperature controlled environment.
The current Missoula College East Campus facilities were designed using an outdated open classroom concept where students often hear lectures from other classes across thin room dividers. Some students also attend classes in trailers and modular units.
Missoula College already offers essential transfer and professional technical education for the state of Montana. Its programs offer one- or two-year pathways to rewarding careers and future education, helping fuel Montana’s economic engine with an unparalleled workforce.
Imagine what this outstanding college could do with an outstanding building.
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