Engstrom: East Broadway site for Missoula College needs 740 parking spots

2013-08-10T05:00:00Z 2014-10-19T08:07:33Z Engstrom: East Broadway site for Missoula College needs 740 parking spots missoulian.com

An alternative site for Missoula College on East Broadway looks promising, though a few more steps must be taken before University of Montana officials give it a full thumbs up, the school’s president said Friday.

UM President Royce Engstrom said that while the university’s South Campus remains a strong and possible location for Missoula College, the East Broadway location also appears to meet the needs of the new school.

“We’re still working to make sure we can address the parking and traffic situation around that (East Broadway) location,” Engstrom said. “If it turns out to be possible, we’ll move forward. But before we make a final decision, we’ll be out in the community asking for feedback.”

The University of Montana received the feasibility study on East Broadway from StudioFORMA in early July.

The study reviewed the property for parking, soils, utilities and zoning. It explored impacts to the Clark Fork River, and it analyzed traffic, bus service and non-motorized transportation, among other things.

“It’s a good study and it indicates that there aren’t any significant barriers to using that site,” Engstrom said. “It looks at this point to be a feasible site.”

The property includes roughly seven acres adjacent to MonTEC. Engstrom said room for roughly 740 parking spaces must be identified before the East Broadway location will emerge as a true possibility for Missoula College.

Parking may be available on site, along with the MonTEC location and a possible lease from the railroad, which owns much of the land across Broadway.

If parking can be resolved, Engstrom said, the university will take the plan to the public for feedback. The South Campus site, he said, remains a possibility.

“We want to make sure the piece of land we’re talking about in the surrounding area can accommodate 740 parking spaces, and we’re working toward that,” Engstrom said. “I hope to be out publicly with it in a matter of weeks.”

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at martin.kidston@missoulian.com.

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(8) Comments

  1. dave ajou
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    dave ajou - August 12, 2013 11:48 am
    We already had Dornblaser, what is a track meet going to draw, or a soccer match ? A few hundred for a marquis event. 6 to 10 events at a minimum of 750k per event, excluding playoff money going to the NCAA, and all the concessions ? Not a bad ROI. If we would have had a track put in there, it never would have had the capacity it has now, and the intimidation factor of a deafening crowd would be lost forever. No thanks, I like it just the way it is.
  2. 1missoulian
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    1missoulian - August 12, 2013 8:35 am
    Why is parking only now a concern for the COT expansion? The most recent draft of the south campus plan includes a mere 250 parking spaces, with the city streets having to absorb the overflow and rely on the taxpayers to deal with increased traffic and lack of parking spaces. The U/city has already seen these problems in the U district, but will willingly spread them to other surrounding areas to avoid this added financial burden.

    And why only now is the U concerned with taking public comment DURING the planning phase, rather than post-planning smoke and mirrors? If public input is such a concern why did both the University and City Planning opt out of the recent public forum designed to address these outstanding issues? And a final rhetorical question, why was the Missoulian absent from both the meetings and reporting from these public forums?
  3. David1
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    David1 - August 11, 2013 12:50 pm
    Nikki: All you say is true. I believe Engstrom cannot think "outside the box," the box being George Dennison's policies that Engstrom subscribed to to get his position as provost, and then the presidency of UM.

    For example, re: Missoula College, Engstrom, coming from South Dakota, that has a community college system separate from the universities and other 4-year schools, discarded anything he knew re: 2-year/community college education to buy in to Dennison's mistaken desire to meld 2-year students with 4-year students.

    I believe Engstrom knew better, but bought into Dennison's mistaken assumption, anyway, to get the job he wanted. Engstrom has no vision outside the Dennison box. He's a caretaker, and many question his ability to do even that.

    As you say, Nikki, Engstrom should have the guts, if not the vision, to locate Missoula College at its West Campus/Fort Missoula site, which Dennison himself endorsed at one time, then pulled the plan for unstated reasons.

    Until Engstrom departs from Dennison's mistaken policies re: Missoula College, he will continue to be seen in the light most UM supporters see: a gutless caretaker, good at only fixing what exists, rather than reevaluating past Dennison policies, taking what he knows re: 2-year/community college systems, and applying them to MC's need for a consolidated campus, as he knows from his South Dakota experience.

    If Dr. Engstrom is concerned re: his standing with legislators, the Board of Regents, and the Commissioner of Higher Education, then he has no guts to educate these people on the virtues of having a separate, consolidated, Missoula College campus at the West Campus/Fort Missoula site.

    And, Dr. Engstrom knows I'm right, based on his South Dakota experience. Time to step up, Sir!



  4. Nikki's Niece
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    Nikki's Niece - August 10, 2013 3:49 pm
    Dear President Engstrom, a true sign of leadership is to admit to one’s mistakes and to possess the courage to admit to them openly and publicly. For the last two years your administration has stubbornly insisted that the South Campus site for Missoula College is a “done deal.” You know better than anyone else that such statements were short-sighted and premature. Now is the time to admit to your mistakes and move forward as you claim to wish the university and community to do. Do you want to start UM’s new semester with a brand new lawsuit? Or would you rather set aside your pride and admit to your mistake and choose an alternate site for Missoula College in as timely a fashion as possible? Given your past performance and choices, which resulted in the loss of several valuable and outstanding individuals, I am not optimistic that you will make such a choice. It is, however, never too late to turn over the proverbial “new leaf.”

    P.S., Ms. Devlin and Mr. Kidston: As a long-time Missoulian reader, I believe it is about time that these articles begin to incorporate perspectives and voices other than those of the university administration. This would include the voices of those who through their actions, commitment, and influence have either forced the university to rethink its assault on academic offerings at UM or forced it to select an alternative site to South Campus for the new Missoula College. Readers and many community members are well aware that the university’s advertising contributes significantly to Missoulian revenues. However, there are times when articles like the one above read less like journalism and more like a mere re-write of a UM public relations piece.
  5. David1
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    David1 - August 10, 2013 12:12 pm
    Article headline: "Engstrom: East Broadway site for Missoula College needs 740 parking spots" No, "Missoula College" will not be located at EB site. Only ONE building of MC will be located at EB site, or South Campus for that matter.

    Missoula College as an entity, is not located at any one site. You can't say where "MC" will be located. UM's plan will add a fourth campus to an already scattered MC: EB/SC, UM main campus, East Campus, and West Campus.

    No. You can only say where MC is located, only if it's consolidated at its West Campus/Fort Missoula site. Martin Kidston doesn't get it, or if he does, he ignores it. Missoula deserves better than scattered campuses of MC. That Missoula leaders do not stand up to UM's treatment of MC is deplorable. Especially when a consolidated MC campus will do more for the economic, cultural, and educational future of Missoula area citizens than the four, scattered, campuses that would result if UM's plan is followed.



  6. David1
    Report Abuse
    David1 - August 10, 2013 11:42 am
    Engstrom says, "But before we make a final decision, we’ll be out in the community asking for feedback." According to many others, previous "out in the community" hearings by UM have been carefully orchestrated to reduce opposing citizens from speaking their piece.

    Fact is, UM has already decided either South Campus or East Broadway. How can anyone think that these "out in the community" hearings are going to change what Engstrom & UM have set their minds on?

    These hearings are just window dressing so UM can say the public has had its say, but it's just a show. UM is going to do what it wants to do, come hell or high water.

    And, yes, the West Campus/Fort Missoula option is still there, but for its own nefarious reasons does not want that option, even though it has already been planned, years ago, for the then-COT to be located there. Even with models.

    The new Missoula College building can be built at West Campus/Fort Missoula. All needs to be done is dust off those previous plans, modify them, so that the new MC building can be in the first phase of a modified previous plan, for a complete, consolidated MC campus, geared more to serving Missoula area needs than the needs of UM & what few of those students want to attend MC.

    UM should be out of the picture in locating MC. It should never have been in the picture.



  7. BR
    Report Abuse
    BR - August 10, 2013 9:27 am
    The West Campus site doesn't have this problem and Engstrom didn't need to commission a study to find that out.
  8. Pistol
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    Pistol - August 10, 2013 8:31 am
    When the stadium was bulit discussion was whether or not to have a track around the playing field. Some said yes, not the nos won out. What a mistake! Now we have a stadium that is used for 6-10 days a year for competitive athletics. It could have been home to football, track. and soccer. Plus it would have made available the track, how many meets a year? Soccer how many matches a year? For development like the new campus the U is looking for. Another example of the leader being a professor of some academic field rather than a business leader. The President of an University should be a person with a successful business background. A person who has raised private capital, executed business plans, and managed people. Not a person who has a Dr. in Geology or some other non business field.
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