Republican Representative Doc Moore (R-Missoula) says he is pushing for an amendment to remove funding for a new Missoula College from the state bonding bill.
A $100 million bonding bill before the state Legislature would fund construction projects on college campuses across the state. About $30 million of that would go toward building a new Missoula College facility on the current University of Montana Golf course.Moore says controversy over the building’s proposed location is what led to the amendment to remove funding altogether.
The State Board of Regents is the body charged with deciding how to spend money on higher education that is appropriated by the Legislature.But Representative Moore does not think this amendment oversteps those bounds.
“That was the number one thing people called me about during the campaign was their concern in preserving that recreation area known as the U of M Golf Course, that’s existed since 1965 and it was gift from the community,” he said.
UM officials say building at the golf course makes more sense for the future of the University, because of the golf course’s close proximity to the main campus. Moore believes the University should have found a way to bring the proposal forward with more community support, “instead of what we have now which is a fractured division. Everybody would like to see an updated College of Technology, but it’s the location that’s the sticking point for a lot of people.”
The bonding bill is currently being considered in the House Appropriations Committee. Moore says if the bill passes that committee with the Missoula College project still in it, he will propose the amendment to remove it on the House floor.