The public will have an opportunity to give their feedback next week on the two proposed sites for a new Missoula College building. They are the original South Campus location, where the present University of Montana Golf Course stands, and a site on East Broadway across the river from the campus.

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom has set two public meetings to gather community comment. The first will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 19, at the Holiday Inn in downtown Missoula. The second will be Friday, September 20, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Missoula College Administration Building.

Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr said on Wednesday, September 11, that President Engstrom still has not expressed a preference for one site over another.

"At this point in his mind, he does not prefer one over the other," Kuhr said. "For the past couple of years, the South Campus location was the preferred site, but now we've had a feasibility study of the East Broadway location, which showed that there were no barriers at the site itself."

Kuhr emphasized that the public forums would be carefully evaluated, but the final decision would rest with President Engstrom.

"I do know that it's not a popularity contest, and it's not really a vote in that we won't be counting up the number of comments in favor of one site over the other," Kuhr said. "It's more of a matter of which site will better serve the students. Regardless of which site is selected, and that is up to the president, impact studies will have to be done whenever a major project is placed on a major college location. We want public comment because there may some aspect we haven't considered yet, and we need to hear that,"

Kuhr said there is no definite timeline for the siting decision.

The Montana legislature allocated $29 million dollars for the Missoula College building project.

University of Montana Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr: