Missoula legislators weigh in on building new Missoula College

House Bill 5 still awaiting Governor's review

POSTED: 6:47 PM Apr 25 2013   UPDATED: 9:45 PM Apr 25 2013
Missoula lawmakers weigh in on building new Missoula College
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The legislative session is over. But the bill okaying the construction of a new Missoula College is still waiting for Gov. Steve Bullock's review.

Lawmakers approved House Bill 5, which includes several Montana University building proposals. Almost $30 million in cash would be appropriated to build a new Missoula College.

The proposed construction is controversial because the University would build on UM's existing golf course.

Even among its supporters, there's disagreement.

House Republican Doc Moore voted 'no.' Moore said the golf course is  "wonderful, open space." He worries about impacts a college would have on the neighborhoods around it.

House Republican Champ Edmunds voted 'yes.' But he said the University should consider keeping the college at its current location.

The legislators' job was to OK funding, said Edmunds. It's up to the University and community to figure out where to put it, he said.

Senate Democrat Tom Facey supports the south campus, but has an open mind. Facey said he thinks the college should have been bonded because interest rates are so low.

If lawmakers would have supported a bonding bill, said Facey, it might have meant a remodeled science building in Bozeman and an expanded historical society building for Helena.