Yellowstone Hall

Officials from Montana State University Billings showed this design for Yellowstone Hall, a planned renovation of its old Sciences Building.

Excellent work! I am encouraged by your effort to help jump start new investment on the Montana State University Billings campus. The health and success of MSU Billings is so vital to our economic growth and future workforce development challenges. "Our university" needs to (and can) be a driver of stronger economic diversity and innovation.

Please know that Big Sky Economic Development has committed funds and dedicated staff time to support the fundraising efforts for the Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building. We made that commitment in October of 2016. More recently we hosted a luncheon for Dr. Waded Cruzado and key business leaders specially to encourage donations to the science building. We are 100 perecent committed to this project, but we see much more that needs to be done.

I have encouraged Dr. Waded Cruzado and Regent Martha Sheehy to consider establishing a local advisory council for MSU Billings (made up of key business, civic, and workforce development leaders) to help provide strategic direction for the future of MSUB, partnering with Dr. Ron Larsen, interim chancellor. We need local buy-in and a nexus for stronger ownership of the future of our university. Larsen recently attended our Feb. 9 board meeting along with Sheehy to continue our partnership with MSU-Billings.

The BSED Board established investment at our college and university as a Strategic Priority. Such investment will help meet our community’s workforce development challenges and further our economic growth. I will personally commit time to supporting your efforts. Just let me know how and when I can help. Understanding the tough budget challenges facing Montana, I know this will effort will not be easy.

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Your work in support of MSU-Billings is so important — there are significant opportunities ahead for “our university.” Thank you all for your leadership.

Steve Arveschoug


Arveschoug, executive director of Big Sky Economic Developmentsent this letter to Yellowstone County legislators in reply to their announcement of support for $5 million in funding for the MSUB science building.

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Rep. Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, chairs the Montana GOP. SB305 was passed by the Montana Senate and awaits House action.