Subject:              Physical Plant
Policy:                 Heritage Buildings and Sites Policy
Revised:              May 15, 2010
Origin Date:        May 15, 2010
Review Date:      Five (5) years from Revised Date above
Sponsor:             University Facilities Planning Board (UFPB)


Introduction and Purpose:

All MSU facilities are owned by the State of Montana and MSU. The facilities operations departments; Facilities Planning, Design & Construction (FPDC) and Facilities Services (FS) are charged with operating, maintaining and preserving the value of MSU's physical facilities for the benefit of the State and MSU, which includes preservation and adaptive reuse of historically significant properties.  MSU acknowledges that historically significant properties of the MSU campus are recognizable icons of the campus and living connections to the state’s heritage.  The historically significant properties contribute to the embodiment of the ideas, values and vision of those who shaped the University.  They help define a sense of place and are essential to alumni development, student recruitment, and the University's public image. MSU is committed to sensible adaptive re-use and renovation in order to preserve heritage value and ensure their continued contribution to the campus aesthetics, founding principles and ongoing mission.


Historically Significant Properties refers to any district, building, structure, landscape, sites, or object designated as such by the University Facilities Planning Board to be of significant in the history, architecture, archaeology, or culture of the University.

Heritage Property refers to a designation bestowed on said property in accordance with State and/or Board of Regents (BOR) policy.

Registered Property refers to registration of said property on the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register refers to properties registered and/or designated by the Secretary of Interior or State Historic Preservation Office as worthy of preservation because of national, state or local significance.

Adaptive re-use refers to a rehabilitative process of returning a property (building, structure, landscape, or site) to a state of utility through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary (institutional) use while preserving those portions and features of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural, and cultural values.

Preservation refers not only to the preservation in place of a property or other cultural resources, but also to the preservation of information about that resource

Montana Antiquities Act (as amended) refers to the responsibilities of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and other state agencies regarding historic and prehistoric sites including buildings, structures and paleontological or archeological sites on state owned lands.

State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is the state office designated by the Governor to administer the State historic preservation program pursuant to state legislation.


The MSU Heritage Plan expresses the University’s commitment of stewardship regarding the preservation of historically significant properties and promotes the development of standards to adaptively re-use, preserve, and protect such properties and facilitate restoration and rehabilitation to serve the University mission.  Prior to the removal, demolition, or substantial alteration of any historically significant property owned by Montana State University and MAES, the entity planning such removal, demolition, or substantial alteration shall comply with the provisions of this policy.

Montana State University shall comply with the provisions of the Montana Antiquities Act as amended (MCA 22-3-421 through 22-3-442) and the Board of Regents Heritage Properties policy (1003.5 and 1003.6).

MSU’s Historically significant properties will be continuously preserved and maintained to present a positive appearance to alumni, visitors, students, and the public, and to protect the enduring value of the properties. Removal of or major alteration to any historically significant properties designated or determined to be of historic significance, designated as a Heritage Property or listed on the National Register must be recommended by the University Facilities Planning Board and approved by the University President and/or appropriate governing agency when applicable.


The University will document historic or potentially historic properties consistent with the Montana Antiquities Act and BOR policies in a professionally competent and responsible manner and in consultation with the SHPO prior to implementing significant modifications or alterations.

Nomination of potential historic, archaeological, cultural and architectural properties and resources owned or controlled by MSU for Federal designation (National Register of Historic Places) and/or State designation (Heritage Property), shall be recommended by the UFPB to the President of Montana State University for approval.   Nominations of historically significant property shall comply with BOR policy 1003.5 and other applicable state and federal statutes. The President, in making the determination, may consult with the University Staff, Faculty, and other resources as needed.

The University will consider national and state recognized historic preservation principles and guidelines (i.e. Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Preservation) when implementing adaptive re-use or reuse of historically significant properties, Heritage Properties, or Registered Properties under ownership and control of the University in the planning and implementation of projects when possible and feasible.

The Facilities Planning Design and Construction is responsible for coordinating University activities and projects with the SHPO and the state Architecture & Engineering Division as necessary or appropriate, and will be supported in these efforts by Facilities Services staff and UFPB.

The University Facilities Planning Board is responsible for overseeing compliance with the above policy guidelines and all applicable regulations of the BOR and State.

Internal Control:

Facilities Planning Design and Construction in conjunction with the UFPB will be responsible for the identification and inventory of the University's historically significant properties.

UFPB shall make recommendations to the MSU President with respect to monitoring historically significant properties and resources for rehabilitation, adaptive re-use, conservation, restoration, maintenance, interpretation, energy and operational efficiency, sustainability, and related ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.

UFBP shall act as the advising body for the appropriate administrator(s) on matters concerning University buildings listed on the State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places.