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Question: Why wasn’t Missoula College in the South Campus Master Plan?

Short Answer: The South Campus Master Plan showed zones for future use. It was created to identify how the property should be developed and for what purposes. Missoula College is the first building identified for development on this property.

Long Answer: The purpose of the plan wasn’t to identify specific buildings to be located there. The South Campus Master Plan identified how the South Campus property should be developed and for what purposes. No specific buildings were identified in this plan, as this was intended to be a master plan for development that showed zones for future use: academic buildings, green space, parking, housing. Square footage of existing mountain campus buildings were used solely as samples for spatial consideration in plan development.

The South Campus Master Plan’s Goal:
  • To develop a framework of guiding principles and recommendations
  • To establish the foundation for future planning and design

As part of this plan, UM contracted for an Environmental Assessment and a Cultural Assessment, both conducted by outside experts. The Environmental Assessment considered and dismissed the alternative of building at Fort Missoula:

  • “Develop UM-owned lands at Fort Missoula –
  • Fort Missoula is located too far for UM to provide efficient public transportation or for students to travel on their own from existing housing and academic facilities at the Mountain Campus; therefore, it does not integrate the campuses.
  • Secondly, the UM-owned lands at Fort Missoula could not accommodate the configuration of student housing and academic buildings to meet the needs of UM.
  • Last, a significant amount of the UM-owned lands at Fort Missoula are in the flood plain and therefore cannot be developed.

  • Therefore, this alternative was dismissed.”
The South Campus Master Plan was developed between 2005 and 2007. This is the plan that received 18 months of scrutiny, with more than 30 meetings – all of them open to the public.

Question: What happened to the Futures Park Campus Master Plan?

Short Answer: The plan was research-driven and was deemed financially infeasible. It was never accepted or approved as an official master plan for the University.

Long Answer: This plan never was and isn’t today an official plan; it was never accepted or approved by the administration as an official university master plan, nor was it presented to the Board of Regents for approval.

The Futures Park plan was a research-driven project that was determined to be practically and financially unrealistic for the university to pursue.

The heart of this research project was that the Futures Park would become the “cornerstone of the hydrogen revolution,” and a living laboratory for two-year energy-related programs. The project was a vision based on a set of assumptions at the time:

  • That hydrogen was the alternative fuel for the future, and there would be a large-scale hydrogen project located at the Fort.
  • That the technology was available and it was financially feasible to have a hydrogen-powered campus.

The Futures Park vision included many ideas, including developing a hydrogen-powered monorail system connecting the Mountain Campus and Fort Missoula. Several projects are a result of Futures Park research. They include installation of the energy learning site in Hellgate canyon consisting of a 10 kilowatt wind turbine, 2 kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, a hydrogen vehicle filling station, hydrogen fuel cell and two hydrogen vehicles, hydrogen safety training, and a hydrogen futures website for K-12.

Ultimately, the idea of developing a Futures Park at Fort Missoula was not approved by UM administration as financially feasible over the long-term. The Futures Park never became part of an official university master plan.

Question: What about the Fort Missoula Master Plan? Why not site the entire Missoula College campus at Fort Missoula?

Short Answer: Avoidance of the flood plain, the Fort Missoula Historic Dump, the Fort Missoula Historic District, and prehistoric archeological findings, mean the Fort Missoula site is not feasible for the siting of the full Missoula College campus.

Long Answer: There are major challenges to siting the full Missoula Campus at Fort Missoula:

1. The Fort Missoula site is restricted in buildable area; the Master Plan identifies 75 acres of Fort Missoula University-owned land as being in the floodplain.

2. A road now bisects the largest portion of University land at Fort Missoula.

3. Prehistoric artifacts were found near the Fort Missoula Dump Site during the archaeological survey of the property. These sensitive archeological issues further constrain building opportunities at this location.

4. The old Fort Missoula dump/landfill has been deemed a historically significant part of Fort Missoula Historic District, (National Register of Historic Places) and this protected site occupies a significant portion of the Fort Missoula site.

5. The Fort Missoula Historic District (NRHP) was recently expanded to include the University of Montana property immediately west of the Fort. While inclusion in the historic district does not specifically eliminate development of the property, it does impose strict requirements and process on any proposed development.

6. The UM properties at Fort Missoula are identified as a cornerstone of the Missoula Open Space Plan. The City of Missoula has plans for the Fort Missoula Regional Park to the east and west of UM Property. Integration of a portion of the property into the Park plan is recommended.

UM spent considerable time and expense developing a cultural resources mitigation plan for the West Campus and avoidance of these areas is the final recommendation.

Location Efficiency Considerations for Students and Staff

Close proximity to the University Mountain Campus is also a priority for the siting of Missoula College.

Last fall (2012), 532 Missoula College students attended Mountain campus courses. In addition, 748 Mountain Campus students attended Missoula College courses. The number of students attending classes at both campuses will increase over time as Missoula College continues to implement its transfer and developmental education mission as directed by the Board of Regents.

Siting Missoula College close to the Mountain Campus would achieve:

  • Efficient and convenient transportation options for students, faculty and staff as they travel between the two campuses. Options include convenient travel via foot, bike, car, public transportation and ASUM bus transportation.
  • Easy access to student services and campus housing for students taking courses at Missoula College. This includes student access to UM childcare, the Curry Health Center, and campus housing. Disability services, career services and Native American student services are now on the Missoula College campus 1 day each week. Currently, the registrar, enrollment services, financial aid, advisors, and retention coordinator all regularly move between the Mountain and Missoula East campus to do their work.

Question: How many people are currently employed in jobs located at UM Golf Course?

Short Answer: The combined hours worked by people on the Golf Course equates to 5.8 full-time employees.

Long Answer: The number of people employed at the University Golf Course includes:

  • 2 Full-time / Permanent employees
  • 4 Temporary employees
  • 22 Students who have part-time jobs

Building Missoula College and the South Campus will translate into additional jobs for students and other employees.

Question: Who plays golf at the University Golf Course?

  • 77% of golfers are from the public sector.
  • 23% of University Golf Course users are UM students.

In 2012, the University Golf Course had the lowest number of total golf rounds, 20,376, played at its course, compared with the 4 other popular golf courses located in Missoula.


The Build Missoula College Work Group has issued answers in response to the Neighborhood Council Questions asked of President Engstrom and the University, and formed the basis of discussion at a November 2012 meeting.

Neighborhood Council Questions
November 2012 - January 2013 • By BUILD MISSOULA COLLEGE WORK GROUP


Build Missoula College: Press and Communications

Press releases, memorandums, formal announcements and communication documents throughout the history of the project.  View the archive

Build Missoula College: Project Components

A numerical breakdown examining the designated facility spaces and the total square feet assigned to Missoula College.  Review it

Floorplans for Missoula College

The floorplan schematics for the Missoula College facility which provide a unique glimpse into the design of the building.  Review it

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