A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled at 5:30 this evening for the Yellowstone Science and Allied Health building at MSU Billings. The project is to renovate and expand the current science building, originally built in the 1940’s.
In 2013, the MSU Billings Foundation was tasked with raising $5 million, efforts were slow at the start and wrapped up over the summer.
That amount was required by the Montana Legislature to receive a $10 million appropriation for the project.
The Board of Regents is set to approve spending another $2.1 million during its meeting this week in Billings. That money is the result of action by the MSU Billings student government to help pay for the purchase of lab equipment, furnishing and other lab related construction costs.
Once that action is taken, the regents, the governing body over the university system, are set to authorize MSU Billings to spend the total $17.1 million for the design, renovation and construction of the Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building.
Foundation President and CEO Bill Kennedy says those actions will allow the campus to begin construction.
"The building is on track. It’s ready to go,” he said. “Today with our ceremonial groundbreaking we’ll just kick it all off and let everyone know across the state we mean business, we’re going to get this building done.”
He says the price for construction materials has gone up because of the tariffs the president imposed on foreign steel, but he’s confident they will be able to cover the costs.
He says the current “brick by brick” fundraising campaign is to pay for the wall to recognize the donors, signage, and artwork for the building.
As a point of disclosure, MSU Billings is the licensee for YPR.