UM Selects East Broadway Site For New College Building - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

UM Selects East Broadway Site For New College Building

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MISSOULA -

The long-awaited decision is made on a location for the new Missoula College building. President Royce Engstrom announced Wednesday they chose the East Broadway location to build the new facility. The debate ends after months of public meetings and forums.

"Wednesday we made decision to put the new Missoula College building on the East Broadway site," Engstrom said.

He said the location not only connects students to the downtown Missoula community, but is located close to the campus, and is expected to cost less. The new site is located right across the river from the university, and sits right next to UM's MonTEC building.

"In the end I feel that locating the college on the Broadway site sends a strong, powerful message about the importance of higher education. The importance of two year education in particular, to this community," Engstrom said.

The other site in question was the South Campus location, which is currently home to UM's golf course and other athletic facilities. This spot created a lot controversy, because its popular among golfers as well as hang gliders. University officials said after doing studies on each location and getting the public's feedback, the East Broadway spot came out on top.

"I'm happy to have a decision, and I think the East Broadway location will be a great opportunity for students," said ASUM president Asa Hohman.

Hohman was a Missoula College student, and knows first-hand how hard it is to study in the current Missoula College building, a building only made to fit 700 students.

"This is just going to be a night and day difference. There will be room for people to learn, we'll be able to spread out," Hohman said.

The study university officials based their decision off outlined plans for a multi-story building along with 730 parking spaces. The study showed no major obstacles and could handle the 2,200 students enrolled this fall.

"Whether you like this decision or not, it's a great opportunity for generations to come," Engstrom said.

He said a traffic study, parking study and an environment assessment will be done on the on the site before construction begins.  Engstrom said he's optimistic a ground breaking could take place before the end of 2014. 

The 2013 legislature set aside $29 million to construct the new Missoula College. UM raised an additional $3 million.

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