BOZEMAN — Shovels dug into the ground, following speeches made by students and Montana State University President, Waded Cruzado, in ceremony for the construction of the MSU Student Wellness Center.
Dozens of Bobcats gathered at the groundbreaking ceremony, for a center that will centralize social, medical, physical and mental health services at MSU. Following the roof damage, back in 2019, the fitness center was in need of ‘modernization’ and potentially even prior to that incident, Michael Becker said.
Michael Becker is the spokesman for Montana State University and recalls the history of the fitness center.
“We’re taking them out of a space that was built in the 1950s, and last renovated in the ‘70s when MSU enrollment was somewhere around 10,000. We are nearing in on 17,000 these days. It’s a different university and different resources are required,” Becker said.
Receiving insurance money from the roof collapse, there were still funds needing to be gained to outfit the Wellness Center. The MSU student body stepped up to the task.
“This is a student-oriented project, and was really driven by our students who took it upon themselves to vote in favor of this project with a student fee…It was supported by a 2:1 margin of student voters…we are very grateful for our students for their willingness to come along on this journey,” Becker said.
Students were able to voice opinions on what went into the building, the ‘look and feel’ of the environment, and the need it will serve. Norris Blossom, ASMSU President, explains the nature of the building.
“It’s an all-encompassing building…it will not only achieve the goals that we have but achieve things that will help students in years to come,” Blossom said.
Blossom was a speaker at the groundbreaking ceremony and invited several students to speak in regards to the Center. Some touched on the aspect of space for club sports, recreation and fitness, while others stressed the importance of mental health and seeking help.
“It’s going to be a really powerful space that combines all aspects of wellness, and we’re really excited to see the first steps of its physical construction,” Blossom said.
The Bobcats broke ground Tuesday, September 21, 2021, and the estimated time of completion will be in 2023.
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