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.”