MISSOULA – The University of Montana is considering moving the library at its Missoula College campus to accommodate a new childcare facility.
On Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon ASUM president Alex Butler heard comments from students, parents and faculty .
The need for a new childcare facility on UM’s campus was created when the university learned of elevated asbestos levels in the old childcare center in McGill Hall.
Now UM is looking at moving childcare into the Missoula College’s library, but first they are gathering feedback from students and staff.
ASUM hosted a public forum Tuesday night, and on Wednesday afternoon ASUM president Alex Butler was on hand at Missoula College campus to field questions.
“I thought it was very, we had a pretty good blend of Missoula College students and also parents within the ASUM childcare. But there was also some faculty and staff there,” Butler said. “I thought it was really productive. I think we got a lot of good feedback from it.”
Butler says that, going forward, it might be beneficial to hear the groups’ opinions separately.
“Though, a thought last night was good maybe trying to have sessions for those different constituencies that are affected. Allow them to have a platform for them during that time,” Butler added. “I actually think that if I were to move forward with more of this I would want to have sessions for Missoula College students, for parents, faculty and staff. Try to, at least within my area students and so forth.”
There’s reasons for and against moving the library, but one common theme is that they feel like the process is being rushed.
“I think some general themes are this process seems like it’s being rushed. So why is it being rushed and what are the parameters for that? There’s confusion as to why childcare has to leave the college of education, so really, understanding that is going to be important,” Butler said. “Another comment is that this is going to cause disruption to students. Even if the process was to be mitigated as much as possible it’s still going to cause enough of a disruption so we can pay attention to it.”
As of now, besides the library the other option UM is considering is the James E. Todd building which Butler says is less ideal than the Missoula College Campus library.
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News