Grizzly Academic Center in Final Stages of Design - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Grizzly Academic Center in Final Stages of Design

Posted: Updated:

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA-

The symbolism of the location of Montana's new athletics academic center, for which ground will be broken in early summer, isn't lost on either Director of Athletics Kent Haslam or Griz soccer coach Mark Plakorus.

By the fall of 2015 anyone arriving on campus via Sixth Street will be faced with the Adams Center -- and beyond that Washington-Grizzly Stadium -- and taking a spot of equal importance will be the new academic center.

"Putting it out front, right next to our main athletic complex, where everyone who drives onto campus can see it, shows the commitment we have to academic success," says Haslam, whose department student-athletes have maintained 17 straight semesters with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Plakorus, whose team has posted a term GPA of 3.19 or better in the six semesters he's been coaching the Grizzlies (all while winning a pair of Big Sky Conference championships), envisions the same type of scenario.

"When recruits and their parents come on campus, they'll see that not only do we talk about academics, but we put our money where our mouth is. We can show them the investment we're making in their education," he says.

"It really sends a strong message not only to recruits but their parents as well, because as much as we want to compete for championships and help develop them into better players, it's the degree they earn that is going to set them up for the rest of their lives."

That Montana has had 17 straight semesters above a 3.0 GPA is impressive enough. Adding to the degree of difficulty of that accomplishment was the state of the former academic center. Picture a cramped, underground space that began to feel crowded at a dozen and was located in one of the most academic-unfriendly environments on campus.

"It was tucked into a basement corner, right next to the football locker room, the weight room and the equipment room," Haslam says. "It was loud and it could be smelly. It just wasn't conducive to studying or learning."

Because room was needed for its new softball coaches, the department has been without an academic area since the start of the school year, and that further describes the woeful size of the former center (read: room). The in-house space previously devoted to the pursuit of academic success by hundreds is now serving as a modest space for two coaches.

The new facility, which provides space (and not to be overlooked: plenty of windows) not only for dozens of individuals at a time, but rooms for group study as well, comes at a cost of $2.5 million, all of which was privately raised.

The building will also have office space for the softball program and provide an extension of the Adams Center lobby to assist with crowd flow at larger events.

But most importantly it will provide a convenient, academics-focused location for Montana's nearly 300 student-athletes, most of whom, when they're not in class, base their days during the school year around the department's playing and practice facilities, weight room and training room.

"This won't be a posh place where our student-athletes go and get all their work done for them, and it's not an effort to separate them from the rest of the student body," Haslam says.

"Few people have the opportunity to see behind the scenes into what the life of a student-athlete is really like and the kind of demands they face. The new academic center is an effort to make sure we are providing them with one more tool that can help them be successful."

More upgrades are needed for the department, particularly to the weight room and locker rooms, but for now a new academic center is a great place to start.

"This is just the first step in the facility improvements that we have to make," Haslam says. "And I'm proud that the first one we're doing focuses on academics. I think it's a great investment.

"It makes a statement that at the University of Montana, 'student' truly comes first in the term 'student-athlete.' "

-Montana Sports Information

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Seven Arrested in Kalispell Sex Sting

    Seven Arrested in Kalispell Sex Sting

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:10:39 GMT
    A four-day online sex sting ends with the arrest of seven Flathead men for sexual abuse of children, and more arrests are pending.
    A four-day online sex sting ends with the arrest of seven Flathead men for sexual abuse of children, and more arrests are pending.
  • Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Friday, August 15 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-08-16 01:03:47 GMT
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.
  • PHOTOS: Harvest 2014

    PHOTOS: Harvest 2014

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:50 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:50:16 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the great parts about living in Spokane, is if you head out of town in any direction, you're going to run into some beautiful farm land. I grew up south of Spokane, near Plaza, and one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the porch at night and stare south towards Rosalia at all of the rolling hills of wheat, lentils, barley and peas. 
    SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the great parts about living in Spokane, is if you head out of town in any direction, you're going to run into some beautiful farm land. I grew up south of Spokane, near Plaza, and one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the porch at night and stare south towards Rosalia at all of the rolling hills of wheat, lentils, barley and peas. 
  • Sheriff Deputy Dunn Memorial

    Sheriff Deputy Dunn Memorial

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:43:09 GMT
    Full coverage from the memorial of Deputy Joe Dunn.

    Full coverage from the memorial of Deputy Joe Dunn.


  • PHOTOS: Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    PHOTOS: Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:12:14 GMT
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers tells KHQ that as of 5:00pm Friday evening, Highway 20 is back open and no homes are threaten after numerous mudslides washed out roads and stranded drivers Thursday night and Friday morning. 
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers tells KHQ that as of 5:00pm Friday evening, Highway 20 is back open and no homes are threaten after numerous mudslides washed out roads and stranded drivers Thursday night and Friday morning. 
  • One Dead In Crash North Of Whitefish

    One Dead In Crash North Of Whitefish

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:11:40 GMT
    Glacier National ParkGlacier National Park
    A 23-year-old woman is dead and two other people are in serious condition following a crash on Highway 93 north of Whitefish that snarled traffic for over two hours.
    A 23-year-old woman is dead and two other people are in serious condition following a crash on Highway 93 north of Whitefish that snarled traffic for over two hours.
  • Pipe Bomb Suspect Not Facing Criminal Charges

    Pipe Bomb Suspect Not Facing Criminal Charges

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:34:39 GMT
    Court CoverageCourt Coverage
    The man arrested after police found a pipe bomb in a Missoula home no longer faces criminal charges.
    The man arrested after police found a pipe bomb in a Missoula home no longer faces criminal charges.
  • Suspect Charged with Homicide in Deputy's Death

    Suspect Charged with Homicide in Deputy's Death

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:42 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:42:23 GMT
    The man suspected of hitting and killing a Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Dunn is now charged with deliberate homicide in Dunn's death.
    The man suspected of hitting and killing a Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Dunn is now charged with deliberate homicide in Dunn's death.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.