It will be a two-year boom for construction and infrastructure projects in the Montana university system, thanks to funding allocated by the Montana Legislature and approved by the Board of Regents this week.
The Montana Board of Regents unanimously approved a slew of bills at Thursday’s meeting based on funding provided by three bills passed during this legislative session.
Bills House 5, House Bill 14 and House Bill 632 authorize $ 53.5 million in development projects, $ 19.6 million in major repair projects and $ 68.3 million in projects reserved for authorities, which means that the Legislature approved the power of the university system to spend this money but did not appropriate it. .
Montana State University has received approval for a few large projects, including an OK to spend $ 11 million on the wool lab at its Montana Agricultural Experiment Station.
The project will update the laboratories of five research centers in Moccasin, Havre, Kalispell, Huntley and Conrad, and a new facility in Corvallis for offices and laboratories. It will also finance a new wool laboratory to “meet modern needs for wool analysis”, according to the university system.
Montana ranks eighth in the country for sheep production. The MSU lab is one of only two university labs in the United States to test wool, and no commercial labs are open, the university system said.
“Producers who test their wool in our laboratory to refine the genetics of their herd are rewarded with a doubling of the value when selling their wool”, funding authorization indicated.
Construction will go ahead Two greenhouses at the MSU Montana agricultural experimentation station with funding of $ 2 million. The previous legislative session funded $ 2.5 million for four new greenhouses in Moccasin, Havre, Huntley and Conrad. The Conrad and Huntley greenhouses were the only ones completed due to increased costs. The additional funding will allow the construction of greenhouses in Le Havre and Moccasin.
The university will receive approximately $ 5.36 million for major repair projects, which include fire system upgrades at Montana Hall and Reid Hall, laboratory ventilation upgrades at Haynes Hall, and a roof replacement on Lewis Hall.
The Board of Regents also approved MSU’s plans to buy just over an acre of land on Greek Way for $ 1.8 million. The university has received approval to spend $ 700,000 in campus maintenance funds to design and install sustainable energy for its South Campus Energy District.
Other approved projects include $ 25 million for the new forestry and conservation building at the University of Montana, $ 12 million for the renovation of the UM-Western Block Hall and $ 3.5 million for the modernization of the steam tunnels in Montana Tech.