The ARC Project would get funding from bond levy for sports multiplex

Ben Tintinger
Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-06 12:49:42-04

HELENA — A proposed multiplex for Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds could be in the future for Helena. I spoke with one of the architects working on the project to see what the community could expect.

Rodeos, swim tournaments, concerts, and soccer games could all be held inside the proposed ARC multiplex that would be built at Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.

Map of proposed multiplex

Ben Tintinger is one of the architects working on the ARC Project with Mosaic and SMA architecture.

He said, "We've made a lot of effort to get to the point that we're at."

The project started in 2015 with the Helena Regional Sports Association as a new complex for a pool.

Tintinger said the sports complex is not a health club or fitness center. Its purpose is for court and field sports while also being used for concerts – and events.

With limited space for schools to hold swim practice, it would also be used for that.

The plan's initial location was the YMCA; however, as the project grew in size, they realized there would not be enough space.

Bird's eye view of multiplex

The YMCA said they were disappointed but still support the facility being built in Helena.

The CEO of the YMCA said, "When you're in Great Falls, Bozeman, Missoula, or Billings, you're spending money there, and it would be nice to have people come spend it in Helena."

The two organizations may still partner in the future, such as operating the pool, but nothing is in writing yet.

"Helena is a good place to be in terms of bringing events and bringing people to our community," said Tintinger.

The project would cost $120 million and would be paid for by private funding and with taxpayer's dollars from a bond levy.

Mill levy information

Early estimates show that if voters approved the levy, a home worth $300,000 would pay around $184 a year.

Tintinger said, "I think people need to look at this as an investment. It's not just something that is another tax that you have to pay."

The project is still in its initial phases, and organizers do not plan to present something to voters until at least 2025.

Tintinger said the complex could be finished by 2028 if everything goes smoothly.

The ARC Project is waiting for survey results from an economics group that will show the benefits and needs of the community surrounding the multiplex.

A public meeting will be held next month to discuss the survey results and the plans for the ARC Project.