MISSOULA – University of Montana President Seth Bodnar says that ASUM childcare is important to UM and thanks to their newly picked location might be able to offer even more spaces for kids to learn and play.
The ASUM childcare facility location on campus has been a hot topic around UM ever since the facility was displaced from its home at McGill Hall due to unacceptable asbestos levels.
Administrators recently made a decision about a new permanent location for the facility.
“We have had seven sites that we have taken a look at and we have conducted campus input sessions as well — at Missoula College and on the Mountain campus — trying to get a feel for the best location for ASUM childcare from a perspective of course of running a safe and certified childcare operation,” explained UM spokeswoman Paula Short.”
“Also, one that is convenient for our parents who utilize childcare, but also [for] our 50 student employees that we hire on average looking at that as well as timelines cost feasibility and some of those things. So we were able to announce this week that ASUM childcare will return to McGill Hall,” she continued.
Moving back into McGill Hall was welcomed among the ASUM childcare staff members.
“When I met with my staff to ask them — and show them the different options…it was pretty much unanimous they would all love to go back to either McGill or Craig Head but McGill being the option,” ASUM Childcare Director Vicki Olson said. “Right now they were all for going back because that’s there home. That’s where they are comfortable at.”
Moving back into McGill Hall filled a number of needs that UM had when looking for a new childcare facility — from being a long term option to being on campus and even being big enough to combine all the childcare age groups into one facility.
“I’m very excited because what they have found too — with everybody being in one location — is they can help each other out a lot. Everybody is together and it makes it easier for my site coordinators and for myself just to be there and to monitor things,” Olson said.
ASUM childcare doesn’t plan on being back into their new McGill location until sometime this summer and for now, they plan on finishing out their semester in their temporary digs in the education building on campus.