BOZEMAN — Montana State University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the future Student Wellness Center at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The ceremony will take place on the lawn northwest of the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center, along Grant Street. The event is open to the public, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

Norris Blossom, president of the Associated Students of MSU, will act as emcee for the ceremony. Student leaders, including Blossom, will deliver remarks, as will MSU President Waded Cruzado.

The Student Wellness Center will co-locate all student medical, counseling and wellness services in a single facility along with recreational and fitness activities. The goal is for students to have easy access to resources that contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Funding for the facility comes from a variety of sources, including student fees and an insurance payment after the loss of the fitness center gym roofs in 2019. In March of that year, historic snow accumulation caused roof collapses at the fitness center's north and south gyms and impacted the roof over the pool. Instead of rebuilding the gyms, students voiced support for a new, comprehensive student wellness center. In the student election of April 2020, 66% of student voters supported a fee assist in the construction of a new facility.

In addition to offering a holistic approach to student health, the new building will include a variety of environmentally conscious features. MSU is pursuing a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold certification for the project. It will feature roof-mounted solar panels, a solar wall and efficient LED lighting. The building will also be part of an “energy district” to efficiently share energy between MSU campus buildings.

Fitness spaces in the new building will include expanded climbing facilities, a multi-purpose activity court, innovative functional training options, traditional wood courts, an outdoor recreation service desk and a contemporary aquatics space. The student-focused University Health Partners, including its medical and counseling services, will also be located in the building.

Construction is projected to be completed in 2023. The architect for the project is Missoula-based MMW Architects in partnership with RDG Planning and Design. General contractors will be Jackson Contracting Group of Bozeman and Missoula.

-By MSU News Service -