Next up: Raise $5 million for MSUB science building upgrade

2013-10-17T00:30:00Z 2014-07-10T18:33:12Z Next up: Raise $5 million for MSUB science building upgradeBy ZACH BENOIT The Billings Gazette

Conceptual images of a planned $15 million renovation of Montana State University Billings' 66-year-old Sciences Building could be out by the end of the week, allowing fundraising efforts to to ramp up this winter.

The state Legistature will provide a $10 million match for the renovation when MSUB is able to provide $5 million for the building, to be christened Yellowstone Hall when the work is done. It will house the biology and physical science department and the College of Allied Health Professionals.

"We are working through the programming and concept phase and design," said Jason McGimpsey, MSUB's director of facilities services. "By the end of this week, we’re going to have some pretty good concept imagery developed."

Dowling Studio Architects, of Helena, has been hired as the design team.

Marilynn Miller, the foundation's president and CEO, said she hopes the schematic plans, which will provide numbers and measurements on the renovation, will be done by the end of the year, giving fundraisers a little preview to show potential donors.

Miller plans to retire at the end of December but said that the foundation, which she described as a "fiscally robust, highly funded and well-run organization," can handle the fundraising and that she's confident her successor will be able to reach the $5 million goal.

"It will be raised," she said. "I'm confident that the community of Billings and our alumni will make that happen."

The building, constructed in 1947, has teaching labs that haven't been updated since the 1970s and little space for new equipment. The renovation will include new labs, a commons area and construction of a new 30,000-square-foot wing.

McGimpsey said that once the schematic designs are complete, the contract with the architect ends, and MSUB must begin fundraising.

"At that point we will go on hold until we raise that $5 million in matching funds, probably in late December or early January," he said. "The goal is two years, maximum. We have to go to the legislature and report on our next project, so it would be really nice to show them how we’ve moved forward."

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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