The highly anticipated new Missoula College facility is taking shape on East Broadway by the shore of the Clark Fork River.

Missoula College Dean Shannon O'Brien said on Thursday that the construction is to the point where she can envision the classrooms, labs and other aspects of the new structure.

"I was there just yesterday doing a walk-through, and the framing is up on the bottom three floors and is close to being finished in the top two," O'Brien said. "It's really taking shape. You really can get a strong sense of the space of what will go where, and it's just so exciting."

O'Brien describes the programs that will fill the new building.

"We have a strong health professions program," she began. "We have a RN program, and radiology tech program and surgery tech program, and we'll have facilities that will be state-of-the-art, so that our students will learn on the best equipment and it will be a great opportunity to bring business and private industry and medical professionals into our facility and help with that process."

O'Brien is also anticipating the opening of the new culinary arts program at the facility.

"There are three kitchens for our culinary arts program which we are quite proud of," she said. "We'll have a dining room there, and our plan is to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food that comes out of our culinary arts program is just second to none."

"We're looking at a move-in date of May 2017, so in about a year and a half is when we'll have everything ready to go," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said the cost of the facility will be approximately $32 million, with $29 million from the Montana Legislature and the remaining $3 million in private matching funds.

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