MSU begins $1.5 million remodel
BOZEMAN, Mont. - A $1.5 million renovation of Barnard Hall's lobby is currently underway at Montana State University. The remodel is funded by a donation from Tim and Mary Barnard. While the two did not attend MSU, Tim Barnard's company hires a large amount of graduates from the university each year. The engineering building's lobby was last renovated in 2007. MSU executive director of communications Tracy Ellig told NBC Montana the decision to remodel came after the university noticed the space was being underutilized. The main goal of the remodel is to create more space for students to study and meet with faculty. "Our enrollment has grown by 33 percent in the last 10 years, and so you can feel it on campus," Ellig said. "We can't afford to have a space like this not be as fully utilized as it possibly can be." Ellig said about half of that 10-year growth can be attributed to the increase in students at MSU's College of Engineering. In addition to the Barnard Hall remodel the university is working on two other construction projects. The campus dining hall will be remodeled and open in August 2018. The $18 million renovation will be funded by dining fees. Asbjornson Hall, a $50 million project funded completely by a donation from MSU alum Norm Asbjornson, will open its doors in January 2019.