Butte’s Civic Center still functioning after 66 years

Posted at 3:24 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 18:27:01-05

BUTTE – Butte’s Civic Center has hosted just about every kind of event imaginable in its 66-year history.

“We’ve had all kinds of concerts and basketball games – many, many big events here,” said Civic Center Manager Bill Melvin.

It first opened in 1952, costing nearly $1 million to build. That’s nearly $10 million in today’s dollars.

If Civic Center Manager Bill Melvin had his wish, he’d like to see a new facility built on the land that’s being reclaimed in the Superfund cleanup.

“When they reclaim the land behind us, is build a new Civic Center in that area and make this a campus and maybe bring in a convention hotel, a Marriott or Sheridan, or something to draw people to town,” said Melvin.

Melvin says the events at the Civic Center attract people from all around the state.

“It brings a lot to the community, it has brought a lot of economic development to the community,” he said.

County Commissioner Brendan McDonough said there are no plans to replace the Civic Center. He said it’s far too expensive and the county has other projects it needs to tend to. And the Civic Center, despite its age, still is very functional and holding up well.

“This building, I’m not saying it’s bad and it functions very well and it still operates well, but if we could pull it off that would be fabulous for the whole Southwestern Montana,” said Melvin.

For now, the Civic Center will remain where it has for the last six decades.

Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News