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>>

  • UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:04:28 GMT
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
  • Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:29:21 GMT
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
  • Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:08:00 GMT
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
  • Bozeman Scuba Divers Explore Yellowstone Lake

    Bozeman Scuba Divers Explore Yellowstone Lake

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:38 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:38:22 GMT
    Montana is known for its outdoor recreational and adventure sports.There's everything from whitewater kayaking to extreme mountain biking.
    Montana is known for its outdoor recreational and adventure sports.There's everything from whitewater kayaking to extreme mountain biking.
  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
  • Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-07-17 01:30:30 GMT
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
  • Look At All The Cute Pet Pics!

    Look At All The Cute Pet Pics!

    Friday, May 31 2013 1:11 PM EDT2013-05-31 17:11:30 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Alright all you pet lovers, we are on a hunt for the cutest pet picture out there! Do you have an adorable picture of your pet? We want it!
    KHQ.COM - Alright all you pet lovers, we are on a hunt for the cutest pet picture out there! Do you have an adorable picture of your dog, bird, bunny, gerbil, rat, snake, fish, cat, pig, horse, cow, hermit crab, goat, sheep, lizard...eh...you get the picture. We want THAT picture! >>>SEE ALL THE CUTE PET PICS INSIDE THE STORY>>>
  • So Good: Fast Pitch Duo of Ray and Walker

    So Good: Fast Pitch Duo of Ray and Walker

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-16 23:57:19 GMT
    After being some of the state's best for separate teams in different cities, Frenchtown's Morgan Ray and Deer Lodge's Dani Walker have combined forces on the Montana Avalanche Fastpitch softball team.
    After being some of the state's best for separate teams in different cities, Frenchtown's Morgan Ray and Deer Lodge's Dani Walker have combined forces on the Montana Avalanche Fastpitch softball team.
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.