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New Montana Tech building most expensive project in campus history

Posted at 12:33 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 12:47:46-04
Montana Tech Campus
The Montana Tech campus in Butte. (MTN News photo)

BUTTE – Montana Tech is not just building a new facility on campus, they’re also trying to build enrollment.

“So this building is about recruiting, retaining and graduating more Orediggers,” said Michael Barth of the Montana Tech Foundation.

Called the Student Success Center, it will feature about 160 dorm rooms, tutor and study areas, enrollment services, food courts, and social areas. It’s all about making the Butte campus attractive to a new generation of students.

“For a student who comes on a recruitment trip to a university that’s one of the first things they’re looking at, what does the place look like, is this someplace I’m going to be nourished, is this someplace I’m going to have the potential to reach my full potential,” said Vice Chancellor Joe McClafferty.

At $24 million, this is the largest capital project in the university’s history. It’s also received the most donations from Montana Tech alumni and supporters.

“This project is the largest project we’ve ever undertaken as a campus both in terms of square footage — it’s roughly 100,000 square feet — but also in terms of the philanthropic support that we’re bringing to the table; we’re contributing $8 million to this project,” said Barth.

There will be a room with a sports lounge feel to it, tables for people to enjoy snacks, flat-screen televisions all over the walls so they can watch their favorite college games; they can even watch the Orediggers’ lives right outside the window. It’s all about making the campus have more of a community feel for these students.

“Not all learning takes place in the classroom. Who we are and who we become, the people that we become is influenced by those who surround us. So we want to provide an opportunity for students to hang out and be together and learn from each other and work on projects and become better,” said Barth.

The building is expected to be completed by next spring and ready for the 2019 fall semester.

-John Emeigh reporting for MTN News