UM Releases Design Plans For New Athletic Study Center - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

UM Releases Design Plans For New Athletic Study Center

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MISSOULA -

The University of Montana is done with the design phase of a new $3 million study center for athletes, and for the first time, they've released their plans.

University officials said the new center is fundamental for athletes to meet the academic standards expected of them. As a member of the University of Montana's dance team, Danielle Monin understands the troubles many college athletes face when balancing school and sports.

"I know a lot of athletes are in here a lot more often then we are, so I know it would help them a lot," Monin said.

A few months ago the university announced plans for a three million dollar project to build a new academic center for student athletes, like Monin, to help them continue to do well in school.

"This will be awesome between classes when we have to come here, check in, work out in between practices, we'll have a place to go where we can get a little homework done, we'll have a place to go instead of going home and it saves us a lot of time," Monin said.

Officials recently released the design of the building, which will be located between the student recreation area and Hoyt Athletic Complex, creating an expansion of the Adams Center. Associate Director for Internal Operations Chuck Maes said the center is a must.

"Our students services facility here on campus are just not on par with what they need to be for what we expect from student athletes. They need to be successful in school first and foremost," Maes said.

He said the building will have a library feel, with an open area for students to study in, with several individual study rooms connected to it. Maes said they are leaving the basement unfinished, so it can be used to expand the center once the university has the funding. Tutors will also be available in the new study area for students.

"They're doing a bang up job as it is, but we need to make sure we're providing them with the tools they need," Maes said.

UM's student athletes have posted 17 straight semesters with a GPA above 3.0, one of the highest rankings in the Big Sky Conference.

"We're excited. We know people love Grizzly athletics and you know we want to continue to be successful and be the benchmark for other schools and this is a step in the right direction," said Maes.

Construction for the project is expected to start this summer. Maes said they hope to have it completed between September and December of 2015.

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