UM Facilities Update

A Facelift for the Liberal Arts Building

Since last summer, the sounds of construction have been ringing out in the Liberal Arts Building. Demolition experts pulled apart old classrooms, architects and designers envisioned new spaces, and contractors and technicians have installed the latest in modular furniture and technology. 

It’s all thanks to donors Dennis and Gretchen Eck, whose leadership support will help the 60-year-old building receive a much-needed facelift.

Historic Liberal Arts Building photograph Current Liberal Arts Building photograph

The Ecks have helped renovate six classrooms that will bring new technology and flexible learning environments to UM students this fall. This is a much-needed change in the most heavily used building on campus. Beginning this winter, their gifts will also fund renovations to one of the largest lecture halls on campus and create a new central entrance from the Oval, which will feature an open, collaborative space for students. 

This is all the first of a planned two-phase renovation that will dramatically improve the building’s “Academic Hall,” the central east-west wing facing the Oval, which is home to the majority of the building’s teaching spaces. The Ecks’ support also helped the College of Humanities and Sciences develop a master plan for future improvements.

Support these significant enhancements to educational spaces and consider honoring or memorializing a loved one with a named space in the Liberal Arts Building. 

Pictured above: (Left) The Liberal Arts Building in its mid-century heyday featured banks of windows, which renovations will reveal. (Right) The Liberal Arts Building as it stands today.

Champions Center to be Complete by Fall 2017

This spring, Jackson Contractor Group, Inc. started preliminary work on UM’s Washington-Grizzly Champions Center.

Artistic rendering of the Champions Center

Beyond creating a nice south entrance to Washington-Grizzly Stadium, the new facility will feature a 20,000-square-foot, two-story strength and conditioning center for all student-athletes; a 7,000-square-foot locker room for the Grizzly football team; team meeting rooms; and a wider stadium concourse with additional restrooms and concessions. Each of these new spaces addresses a challenge faced by the athletics program, which has grown to exceed its current facilities.

Thank you to Kyle and Kevin Washington for their $7M lead gift on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, and to all the donors who have already supported this important addition to Grizzly Athletics.

For your opportunity to support the Champions Center, contact Dan Ingram, assistant athletic director for development, at 406.243.6294.

A New Home for Two-Year Education, Piece by Piece

Driving by the Missoula College building on East Broadway, you can see the changes day by day. First there was a chasm in the ground, the giant foundation for the 113,500-square-foot building. Then the steel framing went up, piece by piece. Finally walls and windows, and, lastly, exterior paneling that will turn the building a slate grey.

Inside, new centers of learning are taking shape. A partnership with Blackfoot will enable Missoula College students, faculty and visitors to learn, communicate and collaborate by tapping into lightning-fast broadband speeds. Their services and materials were a generous cash and in-kind contribution worth $570,000 as part of their ongoing commitment to education. Classrooms, simulation labs for nursing students and a massive new library are just a few areas made possible by private donors, including Providence St. Patrick’s Hospital and Norco. Soon finishes and furniture will go in, energy-efficient lighting and technological resources. The building will host its first classes in summer 2017.

Missoula College

The UM Foundation is seeking partners to support this world-class learning environment for Missoula College students. Missoula College plays an important role in boosting the regional economy by training students in specific sectors, from network installation to culinary arts, respiratory therapy and diesel mechanics. The new building will provide a much-needed, large, high-tech facility for students to learn their trade and move quickly into the working world.

Join us for a remarkable opportunity to play a role in expanding two-year education in Western Montana.

Find out how you can get involved by visiting Naming opportunities are available throughout the building.