(Missoula Current) The University of Montana plans to break ground this month on a new indoor practice facility located on-campus, the school said Thursday.

The Grizzly Indoor Practice Facility will serve student athletes in every sport, along with recreational opportunities for all UM students and members of the Missoula community.

“The need for an indoor athletic facility in Missoula is long overdue,” said UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam. “This facility will benefit every Grizzly student-athlete for years to come, as well as provide new opportunities for athletes of all ages in our community to use a safe, indoor space to practice, play and compete during the winter months.”

The $10.2 million facility will be located on the south end of the River Bowl fields and is privately funded, meaning no student tuition or Montana taxpayer dollars are being spent on the project, the school said.

The 110,000-square-foot Grizzly Indoor Practice Facility will be covered with an inflatable roof that will be the first of its kind in the Big Sky Conference.

In total, the facility will include a regulation-size synthetic football field, four 150-yard sprint lanes for track athletes and two long-jump pits, two pole vault bars and a hammer, javelin, discus and shot-put area for field athletes.

The facility also will house winter practices for Grizzly soccer and softball teams.

As part of the project, UM also will construct a permanent structure that will connect to the indoor practice facility to house a lobby, restrooms, storage rooms and mechanical space.

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