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The new Montana Heritage Center will be located at Sixth and Roberts streets near the existing Historical Society in Helena, Montana.

Decision Rationale


BEING RESPONSIBLE STEWARDS OF TAXPAYER INVESTMENT

During the site evaluation process, two options emerged:

1. Construct a new building to house both the Montana Historical Society (MHS) and the Heritage Center. This was estimated to cost between $81 million and $94 million in legislative and/or private funding.

2. Split the Heritage Center into two locations. MHS would continue to operate out of the Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building, while the Heritage Center would function in the new building. This would require purchasing new land, increasing operational costs, and adversely impacting MHS’ mission and function.

The most responsible use of taxpayer dollars provided by the 2019 Legislature is to take advantage of existing state resources by renovating the Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building and connecting it to a new facility at the state-owned Sixth and Roberts site.



ADVANCING THE CAPITOL COMPLEX MASTER PLAN

Locating the new Heritage Center on the Capitol Complex aligns it with the vision set forth in the Capitol Complex Master Plan. This plan includes increased parking, improved walkability, and expanded green space. Placing the new Heritage Center here makes it easier for visitors to experience both Montana’s Museum and the Capitol together. In addition, legislators, educators/students, and the general public will benefit from the enhanced space for meetings, trainings, and other gatherings. As the site Evaluation Report found, the Sixth and Roberts location actually will provide more parking than other options and allow for future expansion.



MEETING THE MHS MISSION

The Montana Historical Society’s mission to promote understanding and appreciation of Montana’s cultural heritage is best fulfilled by constructing the Heritage Center adjacent to the existing Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building. A split campus meant that invaluable artifacts housed within MHS would need to be transported regularly between two locations, increasing the risk of damage and destruction. Furthermore, the Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building was intended to house MHS and serve as a “perpetual memorial” to Montana’s history. Moving the Society away from this building would violate 22-3-302, MCA and require a change in statute.


The new Montana Heritage Center will be located at Sixth and Roberts streets near the existing Historical Society in Helena, Montana.

Decision Rationale


BEING RESPONSIBLE STEWARDS OF TAXPAYER INVESTMENT

During the site evaluation process, two options emerged:

1. Construct a new building to house both the Montana Historical Society (MHS) and the Heritage Center. This was estimated to cost between $81 million and $94 million in legislative and/or private funding.

2. Split the Heritage Center into two locations. MHS would continue to operate out of the Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building, while the Heritage Center would function in the new building. This would require purchasing new land, increasing operational costs, and adversely impacting MHS’ mission and function.

The most responsible use of taxpayer dollars provided by the 2019 Legislature is to take advantage of existing state resources by renovating the Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building and connecting it to a new facility at the state-owned Sixth and Roberts site.



ADVANCING THE CAPITOL COMPLEX MASTER PLAN

Locating the new Heritage Center on the Capitol Complex aligns it with the vision set forth in the Capitol Complex Master Plan. This plan includes increased parking, improved walkability, and expanded green space. Placing the new Heritage Center here makes it easier for visitors to experience both Montana’s Museum and the Capitol together. In addition, legislators, educators/students, and the general public will benefit from the enhanced space for meetings, trainings, and other gatherings. As the site Evaluation Report found, the Sixth and Roberts location actually will provide more parking than other options and allow for future expansion.



MEETING THE MHS MISSION

The Montana Historical Society’s mission to promote understanding and appreciation of Montana’s cultural heritage is best fulfilled by constructing the Heritage Center adjacent to the existing Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building. A split campus meant that invaluable artifacts housed within MHS would need to be transported regularly between two locations, increasing the risk of damage and destruction. Furthermore, the Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building was intended to house MHS and serve as a “perpetual memorial” to Montana’s history. Moving the Society away from this building would violate 22-3-302, MCA and require a change in statute.


  • Site Selection Milestones

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    by Amber,
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    Department of Administration Director John Lewis said Thursday the new Montana Heritage Center will be located at the Capitol Complex on state-owned property across the street from the Montana Historical Society at Sixth Avenue and Roberts Street.

    The site was selected based on a report by Cushing Terrell (CT). Five sites were narrowed down from 22 original locations based on criteria developed by CT and the steering and building project committees.

Page last updated: 16 Feb 2022, 12:20 PM