The University of Montana
The University of Montana
University Council Meeting September 3, 2013
“Next Steps with the Missoula College”
Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month this academic year, with the exception of January.
Missoula College Location – President Royce Engstrom
Brief history: Last spring, the Legislature approved and the Governor signed a bill allocating $29 million for a new Missoula College building, with the agreement that the University would provide a $3 million cost match of non-state, non-tuition funding. The preferred location has been South Campus. The Board of Regents approved the South Campus Master Plan in 2007, designating it as the location to handle future growth and future buildings for UM.
This past spring semester, a private firm’s inquiries about building on property the University owns along East Broadway alerted the President to the possibilities of developing that location. UM owns 7.5 acres on E. Broadway, plus an additional 3.5-4 acres where MonTEC is located. A feasibility study was conducted of the property over the summer, and showed that the site could accommodate current and longer-range needs of Missoula College.
Why is the E. Broadway site attractive?
-Proximity: 4 minute drive to UM, potential for footbridge, feels like a true extension of the Mountain campus.
-Programmatically attractive: close to business center (downtown), potential for workforce development and post-work day class schedules, next door to MonTEC, river-facing patio for Culinary school, attractive building addition to the area.
-Economically effective: more building for our money due to lack of infrastructure issues found at South Campus site, possibility of bringing Culinary School over sooner than anticipated.
-Expandability: 740 parking spaces available, including on property across East Broadway that UM could have access to, potential future expansion of MonTEC building.
Comments and questions from attendees:
Q. Has the State Highway Office weighed in?
A. Not at this point, although we are aware there has to be a traffic study conducted and there is need for a stop and go light and pedestrian crosswalk. The city has plans to work with that area as well.
Q. Would the E. Broadway site be held to the Mountain campus design standard of 4-story buildings?
A. No, city codes will be followed, but model and design will differ from Mountain campus buildings.
Q. Has there been further consideration of the Fox Theater site?
A. President Engstrom and VP Mike Reid attended a meeting at that site following Mayor Engen’s suggestion. There are some concerns in terms of future expansion potential, traffic, parking and the fact the site does not serve to create a higher degree of integration of Missoula College with the Mountain campus. There has not been a final decision yet, but President Engstrom thinks it is a longshot.
Commenter likes the idea of integrating with downtown community.
Q. What is the student capacity at the E. Broadway site?
A. Both the South Campus and E. Broadway sites have capacity for current and future Missoula College enrollment numbers. Both sites can accommodate expectations in growth for the foreseeable future (roughly the next decade at least).
Q. What about legal questions regarding use of South Campus?
A. The University’s position is that we have the legal authority we need. We own the land and there are no restrictions on the deeds. Therefore, the master plan will stay in effect in order to best serve the University and its potential growth, whether that be housing, academic needs or recreation.
Q. What is the timeline for the final decision?
A. At least two forums will be held in September (dates pending). We would need to have a traffic study and an environmental assessment completed, and then a final decision will be made.
Working groups update – Dawn Ressel, Associate VP for Planning, Budget & Analysis
Planning Assessment Continuum includes 5 work groups that met over the summer.
A general meeting is scheduled for 10/21 and will include a report to Budget and Planning of ideas from all 5 groups. Following this meeting, there will either be more time allotted to analysis or suggestions will be passed along to the University’s budget committee.
Input is being solicited, please take the survey headed your way, visit http://www.umt.edu/planningassessmentcontinuum/ or contact any of the groups or Dawn directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
-Asa Hohman, ASUM President, announced that, in response to neighborhood concerns about the loud, old buses, ASUM has purchased 2 new buses with grant money. There will be an unveiling of the first bus today at Prescott House, 4 pm. The second bus will be delivered a year from now. ASUM is also acquiring laser counters to get accurate reads of ridership.
Asa added that ASUM will continue to apply for grants to add better buses to the fleet. In addition, he will look into donating the old buses to the Diesel Training Program, although there is a standing requirement that all old buses be completely decommissioned. Last year there were 425,000 riders on ASUM buses.
-Mark Loparco, director of UM Dining Services, said the new food truck has been doing well at MC West, there has been some successful advertising to Big Sky High School, and that the bus will be on campus in the evenings serving a variety of street food. Right now, it’s serving Mexican food. The hope is the food truck will have paid for itself in 5 years.
-Reminder: Diploma Dash, hosted by Staff Senate, will be held on 9/14. Register on the Staff Senate website or Facebook page for $25 and get a t-shirt and food on the day of the event.
For Roster Updates: