Montana State University has broken ground for a facility that student body President Norris Blossom is saying will have a transformational impact on student life at MSU. In fact, the new student wellness center, was so important to the MSU students that a vote to fund the building came even as many were still attending classes remotely due to the pandemic, according to Montana State University.
The vote won out by a margin of two-to-one (66% for and 34% against).
A Facility Years in the Making
Following the collapse of two gymnasium roofs due to historic snow loads in March 2019, students were able to voice their opinions on what they wanted to see in replacement facilities. The event ultimately became the impetus for the current facility project, according to MSU President Waded Cruzado, providing a “whole new vision in student health and wellness.”
Norris Blossom, president of the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU), along with Cruzado and members of MSU administration, design, engineering and architectural partners and contractors shovel earth in the ceremony of the Student Wellness Center groundbreaking, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, outside the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez
“This will be more than a fitness center,” Blossom told the audience assembled on the lawn outside the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center for the groundbreaking. “This facility will combine all aspects of wellness in one location accessible to all.”
With the construction now having officially begun, the project is expected to take two years to complete. When open, the facility will provide a one-stop-shop for fitness, recreation and physical and mental health resource. In addition the facility will co-locate and enlarge many student health services scattered across campus and will also house labs for research in the College of Education, Health and Human Development.
Providing construction serves for the project moving forward will be MMW Architects in partnership with RDG Planning and Design and Jackson Contractor Group.
Exploring the Resources at the Wellness Center
Blossom said that among the “monumental resources” of the new building will be a larger climbing wall, an updated swimming pool, indoor sports courts and spaces for fitness and group exercise.
In addition, three MSU students spoke at the groundbreaking, each detailing how the facility will impact students.
Grace French, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Pleasanton, California, and president of the Women’s Lacrosse club, highlighted how the facility will be expanding the courts and fields used by nearly 40 separates organizations at MASU, placing special on the importance of year-round physical fitness to the student body.
Justin Whitten, a doctoral student in exercise science from Chaska, Minnesota, Expressed enthusiasm for the collaborative labs space the wellness center will be providing for graduate research students.
And Jack Larson, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Rapid City, South Dakota, said consolidating in one location MSU’s mental health and psychological services, its fitness and wellness facilities, and medical and dental health into a “one-stop shop” will benefit all MSU students.
As Larson put it, the pandemic was a catalyst that emphasized the importance of student mental health. “We have to look out for each other. That is the Bobcat way.”