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The new Montana Heritage Center will be located at 6th & Roberts 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 would require an additional 435 million to 42 million of 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, increase operational costs, and adversely impact 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 6th & 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 more green space. Placing the new Heritage Center here will make it easier for visitors to experience both Montana’s Museum and the Capitol together. In addition, legislators, educators/students, and the general public will be able to better utilize the space for meetings, trainings, and other gatherings. As the site Evaluation Report found, the 6th and Roberts location will actually provide more parking than other options and allow for future expansion.


MEETING THE MHS MISSION

The Historical Society’s mission to promote understanding and appreciation of Montana’s cultural heritage is best fulfilled by working alongside the Heritage Center. The archives and artifacts housed within MHS must be continually referenced by the Heritage Center staff. A split campus also means that invaluable artifacts would need to be transported 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 6th & Roberts 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 would require an additional 435 million to 42 million of 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, increase operational costs, and adversely impact 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 6th & 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 more green space. Placing the new Heritage Center here will make it easier for visitors to experience both Montana’s Museum and the Capitol together. In addition, legislators, educators/students, and the general public will be able to better utilize the space for meetings, trainings, and other gatherings. As the site Evaluation Report found, the 6th and Roberts location will actually provide more parking than other options and allow for future expansion.


MEETING THE MHS MISSION

The Historical Society’s mission to promote understanding and appreciation of Montana’s cultural heritage is best fulfilled by working alongside the Heritage Center. The archives and artifacts housed within MHS must be continually referenced by the Heritage Center staff. A split campus also means that invaluable artifacts would need to be transported 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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    15 Apr 2020
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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.