NRHC's most important capital improvement project during 2004 promises to be the startup transformation of T-2, the former Post Headquarters Building.
Vintage photo of T-2, former Post Exchange—Officers' Row in the distance
Preservation of the historic nature of Fort Misoula is one of two primary goals listed in NRHC's 1993 Articles of Incorporation. A parallel, longer-range goal is to establish, develop, and maintain a center, or centers, dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of the natural and cultural history of the Northern Rockies region.
Taking creative note of T-2's presently under-utilized, 2200 square foot gymnasium, along with its large, third-level rooms, NRHC's board envisions a re-use design that will render T-2 a unique, multi-purpose community center, achieved with minimal changes to its historic-period features. When remodeled, the T-2 community room will have the capacity to host large-scale, public and private events.
Grand and imposing from the outside, T-2's interior nevertheless poses costly and complicated challenges to the remodeling of its gymnasium, and to the retrofitting of its utility-servicing infrastructure. The NRHC board hired award winning Steve Loken for the T-2 project. Loken is a nationally-recognized consultant on energy-efficient historic restoration projects. Loken also maintains an office in B-30, as a consultant to Audubon's Green Buildings Program.
Private foundation funding for the T-2 gymnasium project, to which NRHC's board has already committed $80K in capital improvement money from an earlier 'open' federal grant award of $350K, is most assured of success if and as NRHC devises a formal comprehensive, campus-wide development plan into which the gymnmasium community-room project can be integrated.
Campus development of NRHC's main assets and properties for public-benefit purposes invariantly remains the ultimate and legally chartered purpose of the organization. In the upcoming year, NRHC hopes to realize its purpose with greater focus, and through projects that are increasingly beneficial to the local and regional citizenry.
NRHC is looking at Building T-1, immediately adjacent to T-2, for even greater community use potential.