Governor approves Missoula College, opponents say not on golf course


Governor okays Missoula College, opponents say not on golf course 5-6-13

MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana's Gov. Steve Bullock approved construction of a new Missoula College. UM wants to build a new college on its golf course, but  a group has organized to keep building off recreational grounds.

Advocates for Missoula's Future said years ago the course's original donors intended that it always be used for recreation. The Advocates attorney filed a cease and desist action to stop future building.

"The statute that is in effect today," said Quentin Rhoades, "requires the Board of Regents use that property for the specific purpose of the original intent and that is clear that it's athletic fields and the recreational purposes of the students."

Rhoades said his clients want a full environmental impact statement. They want a traffic and parking study.

University of Montana leaders said they are not ready to address each argument specifically yet. But UM said its open and discussions are ongoing.

"We have said all along," said Communications Director Peggy Kuhr, "that we are vitally interested in answering concerns and working with the community and working with the neighborhoods."

The new Missoula College on the south campus would hold 2,500 hundred students.

Supporters of the plan said it's necessary to ease overcrowding in an antiquated structure, and to provide students better accessibility on the main campus.

Missoula College continues to grow, and has seen massive growth in the past several years.

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