Western reaches milestone for sports complex

Western reaches milestone for sports complex

DILLON — The University of Montana Western Foundation announced Wednesday that more than $2.2 million has been secured, roughly half of the goal for a new Sports & Activities Complex on the UMW campus.

“We are so excited to share this update with the community and grateful for the generosity of the Erb family that provided the momentum to get the project started,” Montana Western Foundation Director Roxanne Engellant said in a statement.

Once the full amount of funds for the Complex has been raised, which is estimated to cost $4 to $5 million, construction is planned to take place on a parcel of land that was pledged in 2019 from John and Phyllis Erb adjacent to campus near the Bulldog Athletics and Recreation Center. The Complex will be funded through private support and is one part of a larger fundraising effort to also support scholarships and academic initiatives for UMW.

“We are excited to announce our progress, and to be a step closer to making our goals a reality,” Western Director of Athletics Michael Feuling said. “This Complex will positively impact the student-life experience for all current and future Bulldogs at Montana Western.”

Since the 1980’s, the Bulldogs and Dillon Beavers have shared the use of Vigilante Field. Because Vigilante Field requires several upgrades and has limited space for expansion, the new Complex would allow for athletics and other events to be held on the UMW campus. Currently, Montana Western is the only University in the state that offers an athletics program that does not have an on-campus complex.

“This is an exciting project for the University of Montana Western and one that I believe will be transformative for the student experience,” Western Chancellor Michael Reid said. “It is my hope that this new complex will not only be a great asset for the university but also for the community. We are excited to move forward with this initiative and anxious to start construction once the funds are fully raised. We also want to extend a continued invitation to the high school, or other organizations, to partner with us on this project as well.”

In addition to community partnerships, the Associated Students of the University of Montana Western (ASUMW), have recently announced their commitment to support the project financially, pending approval from the Board of Regents during the May 2022 meeting.

“The students at Montana Western want to help contribute to this project in order to support an increase in on-campus activities, create more opportunities for the community to connect with the campus, and to build a legacy for future students,” ASUMW President Jacob Kunze said.

The University will now move into the public phase of the Sports & Activities Complex fundraising campaign to secure the balance needed to begin construction.

For more information on supporting the University of Montana Western Sports & Activities Complex project or to support scholarships and academic programs, contact the University of Montana Western Foundation at (406) 683-7305.

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