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Montana State University to break ground on Gianforte Hall

Posted at 2:21 PM, Apr 04, 2024

BOZEMAN - Montana State University will break ground this month on a new building, Gianforte Hall, that will house the Gianforte School of Computing, MSU said Wednesday in a news release.

The three-story building was made possible by a $50 million gift from the Gianforte Family Foundation and is expected to open in 2026, reports the Daily Montanan.

“I am grateful for the generosity of the Gianforte Family Foundation and for the opportunities this new facility will create for students,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado in a statement.

The building will have two large classrooms and laboratories dedicated to robotics, cybersecurity, augmented and virtual reality, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and video and audio production studios, according to MSU.

Artist’s rendering of Gianforte Hall’s exterior, which is scheduled to open in 2026

Gianforte Hall will be designed to target a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, silver certification for sustainability. It will be MSU’s first mass timber structure, a sustainable choice of materials, according to the university.

The groundbreaking will take place from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, adjacent to Norm Asbjornson Hall and MSU’s parking garage. Gov. Greg Gianforte and MSU administrators will attend.

Naming the building after the Gianforte family was controversial in 2022 because Board of Regents policy typically prohibits naming gifts for people employed by the state, and Gianforte’s term as governor is 2021-2024.

However, the Regents said the policy allows exceptions for gifts that merit recognition and for “extenuating circumstances,” and the $50 million donation was tied for second largest in MSU history.