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Montana State to break ground on building to house Gianforte School of Computing

BOZEMAN — Montana State University will break ground on a new building later this month that will house the Gianforte School of Computing and provide space for computing-related fields, including cybersecurity, film, photography and music technologies.

The groundbreaking will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, adjacent to Norm Asbjornson Hall and MSU’s parking garage. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and MSU administrators will be on hand for the ceremony, including President Waded Cruzado; Brett Gunnink, dean of the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering and John Paxton, director of the Gianforte School of Computing.

The three-story building was made possible by a $50 million gift from the Gianforte Family Foundation.

“I am grateful for the generosity of the Gianforte Family Foundation and for the opportunities this new facility will create for students at Montana State University,” Cruzado said.

The building, named Gianforte Hall, will feature two large classrooms and laboratories dedicated to robotics, cybersecurity, augmented and virtual reality, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. A video production studio will be available, as will an audio recording facility. Some of the spaces will be designed to highlight the contributions of computing pioneers Grace Hopper and Alan Turing.

Gianforte Hall will incorporate multiple sustainability features designed to target a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, silver certification. The building will be part of MSU’s South Campus Energy District, a system that helps reduce energy use by allowing buildings to help heat and cool each other. The district includes Norm Asbjornson Hall, Romney Hall and the new Student Wellness Center, now under construction. Additionally, Gianforte Hall will be MSU’s first mass timber structure, a sustainable choice of materials that will help minimize carbon emissions from concrete and steel used elsewhere in construction.

“Gianforte Hall is the next step in our journey in expanding access and increasing excellence in computing education at MSU,” Gunnink said. “The Gianforte Family Foundation has been our partner on this journey for the past two decades. We are greatly appreciative of their steadfast support for advancing computing education for Montanans.”

The building is expected to open in 2026.

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