Historic YMCA in Butte could turn into dorm rooms


BUTTE, Mont. - The future of the old historic YMCA building in Butte is up in the air.

City officials met with the public Thursday to discuss their plans for the building and to hear what the public had to say.

Residents packed the meeting to hear the results of a study on what it might cost to salvage the building, and give it a new purpose as dorms for Montana Tech students.

"Our goal was to find out if it was economically and physically feasible to transform this building into student housing," said Karen Byrnes, director of the Community Development Department.

It could cost big bucks to bring the building up to date.

"The feasibility study shows that we can create 73 beds for a cost of about 5.73 million," added Byrnes.

But that amount doesn't take parking into consideration, or its location which is more than a mile from Tech's campus.

NBC Montana spoke with a few students to see whether or not they would be willing to live that far off campus.

"Butte winters can get pretty brutal here so a mile is a long ways to walk," said Brock Calvi, a sophomore at Montana Tech.

"It gets pretty cold in Butte and icy and I wouldn't want to walk that far," added Ben Cook, also a sophomore at Montana Tech.

The architect behind the project says it's still in the early stages and there is still a lot to sort out.

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