Public Input

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We welcome your involvement and participation. Share your ideas and input to help shape the future of Montana's Museum. Providing input is just a click away. Get started today!

Have some questions about the process? Get answers HERE.


We welcome your involvement and participation. Share your ideas and input to help shape the future of Montana's Museum. Providing input is just a click away. Get started today!

Have some questions about the process? Get answers HERE.


Question: Why should I participate online? 

  • You don't have to attend public meetings at a set place and time 
  • It's quick, safe and convenient 
  • It's a great way to easily provide feedback and input 

Question: How do I submit my input?

Submit your feedback via online via forums, quick polls, forms and surveys. To participate for the first time, click the "Sign In" button or the “Register” button at the top of the home page and this page.

  • Choose a username and password 
  • Complete a few basic questions about yourself 
  • Validate your email address 
  • Return to the website and click the "Sign In" button

Question: Why do I need to register to this site to make a comment? 

While registration is not required,  it is necessary for many of the more interactive engagement opportunities. We ask you to register to the website for a few reasons: 

  • It helps ensure that a broader set of perspectives have an opportunity to be represented 
  • It promotes accountability and encourages people to provide more thoughtful responses 
  • It means that we can let you know and keep you updated on the project progress

Question: Can I use this site anonymously? 

Yes, you can use this website anonymously. Even when you register and post comments, your anonymity is protected because you are identified ONLY by your chosen screen name. 

Question: What happens to my feedback/comments? 

All comments, ideas and suggestions are collated and used by the relevant project teams to inform the development of strategies, programs and activities and to ensure Montana's views are represented, no matter where in Montana you live. 

All input will be considered; however, this does not mean that every suggestion will affect the project or be adopted as proposed. 

Note: All comments you make through this website will become public records for anyone to read. 

Question: Is my privacy protected? 

Yes! Your privacy is protected. Your email address will not be distributed to any third party or used for any other purpose. We do not ask for your personal details or require them at any time as part of your participation. For more information,see our Privacy Policy.

Have an idea for Montana's Museum? Providing input is just a click away.

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    Remember that the only ADA access to the fwp building upper floor is by the parking lot that you are building the new building over. So don't put fwp in a bind you will need some way to accommodate the mobility impaired

    KAP asked 2 months ago

    There will be additional ADA parking added on the north side of the FWP building along 6th.  This image shows the parking on the front of  the building. Thank you for reaching out. https://montanamuseum.org/design [montanamuseum.org]

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    I don't believe putting the new facility where you are planning on putting it will make it more assessable for visitors and staff. If there is nowhere for people to park, they are not going to visit your facility. Also, by moving the Capitol Grounds maintenance to a location off campus, it is going to cost Montanan's more and is not a good use of our tax dollars. Especially since they have been upgrading these facilities over the last couple of years. It would be a horrible mismanagement of state funds if those buildings are now removed. Also, closing the road between Sander and Roberts is not realistic. For FWP there are a couple of reasons this creates such a hard ship. One, the building does not have an elevator. If someone is getting a delivery or having to ship anything out, they will only be able to do that through the lower portion of the building. This does not work. Second, there are hundreds of people who access the FWP building for licenses and information and this will especially make it difficult for anyone who has a disability to gain access to FWP services. Would like to see the State make smart decisions and this is not one of them. Please reconsider the location of the new building.

    cstrobel asked about 2 months ago

    The site for this landmark facility was determined in the fall of 2019 through an extensive six-month site evaluation and selection process after the 66th Legislature approved funding. Initial funding was provided in 2005 and fully funded by the 66th legislature. From budgetary and campus planning perspectives, this location was determined to be the preferred location based on specific criteria determined by the Building and Steering committees, which included members of the Legislature and the general public. For more information on the site selection rationale visit montanamuseum.org/select [montanamuseum.org].

    Additionally, there will be 445 parking stalls as part of this plan and that is based on a City of Helena parking requirements. This increases the available parking by almost 100 spots. We are currently working with FWP to locate ADA parking on the upper level and improve access for the public.  There will be access through both levels of the building. The site selection findings and site plan are available at https://montanamuseum.org/design [montanamuseum.org]

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    The new Heritage Center has the potential to be a world class cultural attraction and heritage tourism attraction. As such I just wanted to recommend the design committee contract with the highest level of design and museum interpretation professionals and cast an international web. Scandinavia is a great place to look for the recent development of high quality cultural museums. BIG architects would be one excellent firm to look at who has completed numerous high-quality museum projects. David Chipperfield Architects would be another one to look at. I also would like to add that the development of the museum programming, interpretation, and displays is the most important aspect of this project, and the committee should employ the highest caliber services for this important project component. In soliciting these professional services there is also the opportunity to develop high-quality interpretation and programming plans for other regional cultural sites around Montana. There would likely be some returns to scale to contracting a larger project, and this may increase the desirability of the project to quality firms beyond Montana. This would also help to increase the visitation and economic impact of Heritage in Montana beyond the Capital Complex. A few potential heritage sites would include; Butte NHL District, Fort Benton Historic District, Deer Lodge museum Complex and Grant Kohrs Ranch.

    Keegan Hall asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comment.  The consultant team was chosen when this project was initiated in 2005.  Cushing Terrell Architects and Main Street Design are responsible for the Architectural and Interpretive design elements.  We are collaborating with the Montana Museum Association and many other stakeholders to determine how this project can encourage travelers to also visit other regional cultural sites, a jumping off point for a Montana cultural experience!

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    I think taking away parking and closing a street will create a lot of ill will with State Employee's. As you said it's the first new building to be created "on campus" in decades. What a shame that agencies have been allowed to move off campus and pay leases. Why doesn't anyone have the vision to see that we should be developing our campus for the good of all. If you visit any major corporations "campus" they have everything employee's need. DAYCAR, EXERCISE FACILITYES, PLACES TO EAT, DECENT PARKING, BANKING, AND EVENE CAR CARE.... DID I SAY PARKING. I HAVE TO WALK 4 BLOCKS EVERYTIME I WAN'T TO USE A COMPANY CAR OR DRIVE. Now that will probably be 6 blocks and an additional 2 blocks to park my own car. I sit in a 1950's era building with a window unit air conditioner. Reinvest in the campus for the good of all. Stop leasing buildings. Invest in buildings that can house an entire agency. Our Agency was in 4 different locations across town at one point.

    JoeStateEmployee asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comment.  The Capitol Complex Master Plan update is scheduled for next year and the overall future development of the campus will be analyzed as part of that process.  The current Master Plan is located at the Architecture & Engineering Division’s website:  https://architecture.mt.gov 

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    Closing 6th avenue is a really short-sighted idea. 6th ave is a major thoroughfare to several state buildings, the Ray Bjork center and also to Montana Avenue. Additionally parking is already extremely limited for state employees. The design looks like there will be a lot less parking. What will happen during the legislative sessions?

    ym asked about 2 months ago

    The design includes 440 parking stalls, an increase in 92 spots from the current lot.  We have coordinated with the School District and were informed by them that Ray Bjork does not use 6th Avenue for their bus routes and they do not feel the plan will affect their operations.  The increased parking just a few steps further north from where the addition will be located will also be of benefit during legislative sessions.

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    By cutting off 6th you will block an important walking access thoroughfare from FWP, DEQ, Heritage, Justice, and Teachers union buildings to the capitol. please provide walking access though the building if you cut off 6th ave. The initial designs didn't cut off 6th why the change in course so quickly? Where will long term parking be located for state leased vehicles that are kept on campus?

    Darrin Kron asked about 2 months ago

    The design will encourage pedestrian traffic through the building during campus hours.  There will be a café and gift shop as you travel through the building, as well as an interpretive experience.  There will also be a trail system that routes around the building and connects to existing pathways.  After the site was selected in December 2019, the Design Team was asked to re-evaluate the 2010 concept and to determine if a better design could be accomplished.  After several months of analysis and discussion between the Design Team and the Building Committee, it was determined that the visitor experience would be enhanced, the overall function of the Heritage Center would improve, operational costs of the Montana Historical Society would be reduced, and the development of the Capitol Complex would be furthered if we could create one connected building.  We are working to determine how travel patterns may be effected.  There will be 445 spots available as part of this proposed plan, an increase of 92 spots over the current number available.

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    Keep your current museum. The public does not need or want any changes. Keep the campus the way it is. Sometimes no change is better. Be grateful for what you have and stop wasting money on time on useless projects.

    brandon.reese asked about 2 months ago

    This project has been underway for over a decade and advances the 20 year Capitol Complex Master Plan. For historical information on this project please visit montanamuseum.org/about[montanamuseum.org]. In addition, the current building will be updated, maintained and preserved as part of this plan.

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    Stop.

    brandon.reese asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    Hello- Thank you for using public participation in your decisions. In general, closing of 6th Ave will have a significant impact on my daily commute and the public's east to west travel. I however due highly recommend shutting down 6th Ave to provide for the best layout, so long as they maintain and improve 8th Ave in between Sanders and Roberts (currently cuts through a parking lot). The proposed new road to the highway does nothing to alleviate the east-west connectivity as no one will sit through possibly four lights just to head west on eleventh towards down town. And MDT will be taking out the light at Sanders and eleventh, so I am not sure of the substitution strategy there as it will be a very dangerous intersection to cut across (vehicle or pedestrian). Thanks for the opportunity. Chris Boe 437-2903.

    imyourkelly asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comment.  We are working with MDT to determine the best intersection control at Sanders and 11th based on this project and the mall redevelopment. This site plan illustrates how 8th will allow movement through the site between Roberts and Sanders https://montanamuseum.org/design [montanamuseum.org]

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    The parking questions only provide parking lots as options. This does not consider employees who are forced to park on the street due to lack of available parking. Demolishing a parking lot to build an addition to the museum is a horrible idea. The capitol complex needs 1 or 2 parking garages before expanding the museum and demolishing parking lots.

    michael.hebert asked about 2 months ago

    The site plan illustrates the amount of increased parking that will be available in the proposed design.  There will be 445 spots, a 92 spot increase to what is currently available.  The Campus Master Plan will be updated in the coming months.  The following link provides the site plan:  https://montanamuseum.org/design [montanamuseum.org]

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    I took the employee traffic survey. However, there was no place for me to put general comments about how closing 6th street will affect traffic not only at the start/end of the day. Where are you taking those comments?

    msnowberger asked about 2 months ago

    This is the perfect spot to provide additional comments. Thank you for completing the survey.

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    How to ensure space planning requirements are received by the proper individual(s); see below? SONS & DAUGHTERS OF MONTANA PIONEERS " Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers "Chartered by the State their Parents Founded" May 4, 2020 Montana Heritage Center PO Box 472 Helena, MT 59624 Att: Ms. Lauren Burka, Strategic Management Analyst Dear Lauren: The Sons & Daughters of Montana Pioneers (SDMP) is an organization created by the founders of this State, just like the Montana Historical Society (MHS). SDMP has office space, and space for archival, records and historical storage located in the current MHS Building. We are identifying our current and future usage as a planning requirement for the Montana Heritage Center. Facilities for SDMP are guaranteed by MCA 22-3-302, https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0220/chapter_0030/part_0030/section_0020/0220-0030-0030-0020.html . For purposes of planning the Montana Heritage Center, SDMP needs to confirm that we are acknowledged as a stakeholder and that space will be provided for our organization. Slightly more floor space than we currently have is requested, along with some environmental controls which facilitate preservation of our archival and historical collections. SDMP looks forward to working with MHS as a stakeholder in the planning process. Sincerely, Duane Thexton 1st Vice President PO Box 1051 Helena, MT 59624 dlt349@gmail.com

    Duane asked 2 months ago

    The project team will be reaching out to follow-up on this!  Thank you for reaching out.

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    I completed the traffic survey before I watched the recording of the open house and wanted to add that I think the design is excellent and will provide a much needed focal point for the entire collection of boring, ugly, sterile buildings around the magnificent Capitol itself. My concern remains about increased traffic on 9th between Roberts and Montana. 8th doesn't get as much because it dead ends at Roberts. The bigger question is the impact on Broadway. I do not think a camera at Broadway and Sanders accurately reflects the impact at Montana and Broadway because the traffic coming from all four directions at Montana is significantly higher. Dan Hollow

    Dan Hollow asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for the follow-up.  This comment will be forwarded to the traffic engineers and we will determine if the information can be gathered from the existing study.

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    Following the Virtual Community Open House on April 21, I have a page of comments to make. What is the best way to submit those comments to the entire committee? Thank you very much! Peggy Hollow-Phelps

    Peggy Hollow-Phelps asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your input on this project.  Any comments provided here in the Public Input will be sent to the Building Committee and Design Team.  

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    How do I access proposed floor plans and elevations?

    brwbrwbrw asked 3 months ago

    The floor plans and elevations are changing daily as we take comments and meet with stakeholders and user groups.  The video of the public meeting that is posted on this site has the draft plans and elevations.  

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    Saw your projected view of what the new museum would look like...I think what you are doing is great. I have one idea, the front view you show 3 grassy knoll on the right side of the walkway. Why not make those 3 grassy humps in the shape of the Sleeping Giant? Something people can see as they are walking up to the doors...If you are planning grassy knolls why not make it look like something from Montan? Keep up the great work! don cresswell swipeme2@gmail.com

    dmcresswell asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. We will add this idea to the list of concepts considered.

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    I haven’t been this excited about something Helena is creating since we moved here 7 years ago! Thank you for this vision, and I can hardly wait to have family and friends visit Helena and take them to this new Historical center. How many square feet is the event center and will it be available for the public to rent out for meetings, receptions, etc.?

    KristinKerr asked 3 months ago

    The event center will be available to rent and is approximately 4,700 sq feet.  The floor plan is still in the draft phase and could change as we receive comments.  Thank you for your feedback!

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    What’s the point of the underground tunnel?

    KMacefield asked 3 months ago

    The tunnel was part of the plan in 2010 as a way to connect the buildings.  The new proposal would close 6th Avenue and create one facility.  No tunnel.