Dave Kuntz

(UM News Service) After a year-long renovation, the University of Montana has reopened historic Knowles Hall.

“The newly-renovated Knowles Hall will provide generations of Grizzlies with a strong sense of community to ensures their college journey gets off to a successful start,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “We are thrilled that Knowles Hall represents the first major project completed in UM’s more than $150 million student-facing infrastructure renewal.”

Students began moving into the 252-bed residence hall this week, which is also home to the Honors Living Learning Community. This unique, on-campus residential experience merges classroom learning with out-of-class experiences.

“With new mechanical, plumbing, electrical and information technology, this investment will ensure Knowles Hall continues to serve students at a quality level for years to come,” said Sandy Curtis, executive director of UM Housing. “We are grateful to continue to make critical improvements that are needed to expand affordable housing options for our students.”

The renovation of Knowles Hall cost $18 million, and was paid for through the issuance of debt bonds. No taxpayer dollars or student tuition dollars were used for the renovation.

Other improvements to the building include the addition of exterior balconies that are enclosed for year-around use, as well as a reconfigured first floor to accommodate lounge and study spaces, a community kitchen, classroom and office space.

Originally constructed in 1962, Knowles Hall is named for Eloise Knowles, one of the first two graduates of the University of Montana.