FVCC: Second 50 years off to great start

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With its forward-thinking curriculum and successful collaboration with the business community through the years, Flathead Valley Community College is considered one of the best two-year colleges in the state. Now it’s poised to become even better.

FVCC announced campus expansion plans this week that will add two new facilities — a 12,000-square-foot library and a 50,000-square foot college center with a large performance hall — over the next couple of years. The ONE campaign, which denotes “one college, one community, endless possibilities,” aims to raise $15 million for the college center, while the lion’s share of the funding for the $3 million library is being gifted by Jerome Broussard. The Broussard family donated $2.5 million last fall for the library that will be added to the Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Science, which also was made a reality through the family’s philanthropic giving.

Kalispell has long been in need of a larger performance hall, and the FVCC college center will finally make that dream come true. It will house not only the performance space — and a permanent home for the Glacier Symphony and Chorale — but also rehearsal and classroom space, a green room, box office, lobby/art gallery and an outdoor amphitheater, as well as a multipurpose activity center complete with a two-court gymnasium, indoor track, fitness center, intramural sports offices, kitchen and locker rooms.

Gymnasium space has been in short supply in the Flathead for years, so it’s a given this new facility will be well-used.

Fundraising will continue through March 2019, with the opening of the college center expected in fall 2020. The library construction is scheduled to begin this spring.

In announcing FVCC’s ONE campaign this week, college President Jane Karas said the forthcoming college center will provide a venue capable of hosting large events, allowing the college to offer more opportunities to both students and the community while bringing in new sources of revenue that will support the operation of the center.

After celebrating its 50th anniversary in a big way in 2017, it seems FVCC is wasting no time in making big improvements that will drive further success over the next half century.

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