The Salvation Army of Missoula has been operating in this community since 1894, and on Friday the organization held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new 11,500-square-foot Corps Community Center at 355 S. Russell St., the culmination of years of planning and effort.
Mayor John Engen, Missoula County Commissioner Cola Rowley, and Salvation Army divisional commanders Bill and Lisa Dickinson were on hand for the public gathering. “When you walk through these doors, no matter your condition, you’re going to get help in some way or another,” Engen said. “And that’s something that we desperately need in this community over and over again. We do our best at the government level and the citizen level, but we need safety nets. And the Salvation Army has shown up for all these many years to provide that safety net. And today they are doing that in a beautiful new facility that shows reverence for the community and offers a dignified place for folks to come and enjoy a bit of human kindness.”
The $2.5 million building was paid for by the sale of the Salvation Army’s old headquarters on the corner of Orange Street and Broadway, which will become a new Stockman Bank. The new Russell Street center includes a community room, a chapel, several spacious classrooms, a social services area, office space, a pantry, a community kitchen, a large lobby and plenty of sunlight.
Loreen Hamilton said the facility will allow the organization to expand its services. She and her husband Joshua are lieutenants in the Salvation Army and are the local administrators for the Salvation Army of Missoula. “It’s been great, it’s been a fantastic facility,” she said. “It’s changed the way we’ve done things. Our old facility just wasn’t laid out properly. Because we’re able to have more spaces, we’re able to offer more services. It’s able to house different programs at the same time.”
DAVID KOEL, DESIGN ARCHITECT:
“I can’t say enough about the CTA team that put this thing together. This was a challenging project at times, with a low budget and a fast schedule, but the result was not only simple and elegant aesthetically, but also in terms of the team’s seemingly effortless ability to work, design, and think on their feet, often times right in the presence of Salvation Army staff. It’s one of those projects where you forget whose idea was whose, where everyone really takes authorship together. Work was contributed from several CTA offices, and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this level of CTA cohesiveness before — which is saying a lot. I am extremely proud of the group, and the final product shows the team’s enthusiasm and commitment to quality.”
SHANE JACOBS, PROJECT MANAGER:
“After decades of growth, CTA has waited on the development of technology that allows us to operate as a single office again. Cloud servers, BIM software, web-based conferencing, and better bandwidths have finally caught up. The Missoula Salvation Army Corps Community Center provided me with the unique opportunity to lead a team of over 30 people with a variety of skills, residing in six CTA offices throughout Montana and Idaho (and one remote employee in Hawaii) to operate as a single group huddled around a virtual conference table.
These advances have allowed CTA to structure our teams by talent and experience across geographical boundaries. This remarkable technological time is beginning to allow us to live in the places we love and develop architectural and engineering solutions anywhere in the world with fantastic folks like Joshua and Loreen that are impacting our communities in a positive way. This affords CTA the ability to bring a global perspective to the communities we reside in, and work side-by-side with the local clientele we serve.”
Photos by Longviews Studios.