The 66th Montana Legislature is considering the infrastructure budget, which includes $32 million for the renovation of Romney Hall at Montana State University. This budget item has been presented to the Legislature every session since 2011. It is the top building priority of the Montana Board of Regents. For building projects, the Board of Regents alternates priorities between Montana State and University of Montana.
The Board of Regents and Montana State would like to restore this grand old 1922 building to being useful for housing classrooms. Currently the building only has 140 classroom seats. The renovation would increase the campus’ classroom seat inventory by 13 percent to meet the needs of a student population that has grown by 37 percent in the last 10 years. The repurposing would also create a larger meeting space for our 539 military veteran students at MSU.
This building, like others on state universities and colleges, is owned by the people of Montana. I ask all Montanans and especially those serving in the Legislature to provide funding to improve the use of our Romney Hall. Romney Hall can be repurposed to a better beneficial use.