The University of Montana
The University of Montana
Update on Campus Building Projects (VP Duringer)
President Engstrom called the meeting to order and introduced VP Duringer. VP Duringer began with a brief history about UM facilitates. Ten years ago UM completed the main campus, Fort Missoula, and south campus master plans to establish the long-term vision for the University’s facility needs.
VP Duringer stressed that, although the Museum/Alumni Center is an important upcoming project, it will not be part of the conversation today because the project will occur too far in the future to know now how it will come together.
(Started slideshow) The Gilkey Executive Education Center project ($9.3 million) began with a fundraising effort several years ago, but sufficient funds were not identified. Several years passed where adequate funding was not available to move forward. The project funding has now been secured from a variety of sources. First, the UM Foundation has agreed to rent the second floor of the building for the next 25 years. UM will issue bonds secured by the anticipated rent revenue. Student fees also contributed to the funding – the students agreed to this because the building will eventually house Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) academic programming. The building will be located in the green space between GBB and Arthur Avenue.
The Relocated Art Annex project ($5.1 million) is a high priority, but is not currently funded. This project is necessary because the student athletic academic center will displace the existing art annex. The new art annex will represent a major upgrade to the current Art facilities and bring together groups that are currently scattered. Plus, according to Associate Provost Walker-Andrews, the upgraded facility will also help ensure the continued accreditation of the School of Art accreditation.
Student Athletic Academic Center project ($2.3 million) – permission was granted by the BOR last Friday, March 2 and construction will begin next spring.
Athletics Locker Rooms project ($2.1 million) – we have some of the best sports programs in the Big Sky Conference and even nationally, but the behind-the-scenes facilities like the weight room and the locker room were insufficient. This is essential to recruiting efforts for Athletics. President Engstrom asked about the funding source and VP Duringer said that these projects will be mostly privately funded.
Athletic Weight Training ($1.9 million) – currently not possible to complete because of funding availability, but this will be an important project in the future. There are over 300 student athletes who must share the weight training facility, so it is important to update the facility.
The Native American Center Basement project ($1 million) – a donor has come forward to fund the completion of the basement of the Payne Family Native American Center. This is similar to the project to complete the ISB building, which is now funded and should be completed soon.
New College of Technology Project ($47 million, 180,000 sq. ft.) – will be built on the existing UM golf course, although the golf course can be reconfigured and will not go away immediately. The project is as well thought out a building as you can imagine. The cost has increased over time, but the current $47 million cost reflects all aspects of the project, including the significant costs of bringing water, sewage, electricity, and other needed infrastructure to the site. There were a couple of audience questions regarding the legislative approval process. VP Duringer said that at this point there are a few ways the legislature may choose to fund the COT building and it may not require a bonding bill.
Dean Snyder asked if the COT library will be located in the new building and the answer was yes, it will. When asked how long the COT building will likely take to construct, once ground is broken, VP Duringer said it will likely take two years.
The Mansfield Library Learning Commons project ($3.2 million) is another fundraising project that is not completely funded yet. This project is important to update the library to include more adjustable and interactive learning spaces.
The Grateful Nation Monument project ($350,000) – the funding for this project was donated by alumnus David Bell and the completed memorial was dedicated last fall in a public ceremony.
The Memorial Row Monument project ($25,000) – during World War I many men and women connected to UM lost their lives, whether in combat or (more frequently) from influenza. The University originally planted the trees to honor those who had died. The plaques from the original memorial had fallen into disrepair and some of them were actually underground. Now the memorial has been restored to its proper state. A plaque for each of the individuals memorialized has been set in a massive stone platform near the end of the Memorial Row.
ISB Basement and 2nd Floor Finish Out project ($4.2 million) – Dr. Sprang talked about the 2nd floor, which will include space to recruit a DBS faculty member and a BMed faculty member for next year, both of which will be funded by the COBRE grant. Dr. Sprang’s CBSD administrative staff and faculty will also be relocated to the 2nd floor. The research is related to the structural dynamics of chemistry. Dr. Janson talked about the basement, which will include new scientific instruments that are very sophisticated. VP Duringer mentioned that the ISB basement has a specially adapted floor that will prevent instruments from being affected by seismic shifts.
ISB project needs to go to the BOR in May and then construction will likely move quickly because the architects have already done much of the planning work. The ISB basement will include an ADA compliant lab. The 3rd and 4th floors will be stud walls awaiting grant-funded, need-based build out projects.
President Engstrom asked VP Duringer to map out a project timeline, and following is the general approach, but the exact steps vary based on funding source:
Step 1: a donor agrees to fund a building
Step 2: UM approaches the state and conducts an architect selection process
Step 3: UM goes to Board of Regents to ask for permission to plan
Step 4: UM gets all money together and completes plans
Step 5: UM goes back to Board of Regents to ask for approval to begin construction
There are differences in the process depending on the type of building or the funding source. According to Rosi, the BOR has the right to approve a facility if it is revenue-generating. For all other types of facilities, approval usually has to be granted by the legislature. In special situations, if the funding is 100% available (for example, if the funding is donated), then the Governor may approve the building, if the legislature is not in session.
A member of the audience asked that the slides be made available online.
Dr. Sprang asked if the future building plans will be adjusted to match the UM Strategic Plan. President Engstrom said that the current building plans are already closely aligned with the Strategic Plan. For example, the Library Learning Commons support a Dynamic Learning Environment; the ISB building supports Research and Creativity.
President Engstrom stressed that the approval process for these projects is very important and must be followed precisely. This presentation was meant as a preview of the plans for the future, but the success of these projects depends on the ensuing approval process.
Someone asked when we will be adding a ramp to make the Payne Family Native American Center accessible. VP Duringer said this would be done in the next year or so.
Dr. Janson asked what is being done to make the rest of the campus, including old buildings, more accessible. VP Duringer said that in each LRBP request the University includes a request for funding to bring existing buildings into ADA compliance and the state usually funds some portion.
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