Project costs double for University of Montana dorm remodel


The cost to remodel a University of Montana dorm has doubled due to price increases for materials both locally and nationally.

Aber Hall, an 11-story residence facility on the north side of campus, will be home to administrative offices typically found in the Lomasson Center during construction for the new Food Zoo cafeteria.

The Montana Board of Regents unanimously approved the cost hike during its July meeting on Thursday.

“This item sets a record for facilities. I am appearing three times in front of the board in nine months — kind of indicative of the construction climate we’re dealing with right now,” said Ron Muffick, director of operations and administration with the Montana University System.

The board initially approved the project in November 2020 for $1.3 million, which later increased to $1.6 million by May 2021. Now, the project is expected to cost $3.2 million.

The climbing cost of materials, supply chain issues and labor shortages contributed to the price hike, Muffick said.

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“Further refinements” within the project are also driving the price, he added. After the city reviewed the project several things needed to be remedied to bring the building

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