June 22, 2011


Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Design work completed; oral history project planned; Exchange Club’s Healing Field to be part of Memorial event at MSU Billings COT


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — As summer moves into full swing, more details — including a key community partnership — have emerged regarding a 9/11 memorial at Montana State University Billings.


The 9/11 memorial, to be located at the MSU Billings College of Technology campus, 3803 Central Ave., will  stand as a steadfast, silent witness to the memory of those who lost their lives at the hands of terrorism on Sept. 11, 2001. It will also provide a place of reflection and honor for those who serve others, whether in the armed services, police, fire or emergency response.


The centerpiece of the memorial will be a 600-pound piece of steel I-beam recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center, which collapsed after the attacks a decade ago.  The memorial will be dedicated at a special community commemoration on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 at 2 p.m. just east of the MSU Billings COT’s Health Sciences Building.


On Wednesday, MSU Billings representatives and community partners who have been involved in the project outlined the latest developments:


DESIGN WORK: Through the work of faculty, staff and community members, the design work of the memorial has been completed. Set on a 40-foot diameter concrete pad, the 4,150 square-foot memorial will feature benches for personal reflection as well as informational panels set in sandstone around the edges. At the center will be a 12-foot diameter raised platform on which the I-beam will rest. Rising above the I-beam will be two 16-foot tube steel towers, a scaled-down visual replica of the World Trade Center towers that fell on Sept. 11, 2001. The overall design was done by Tim Urbaniak, instructor in the MSU Billings’ Drafting and Design program at the COT, and Jason McGimpsey, assistant director of MSU Billings Facility Services.


COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP: As a way to fully commemorate all heroes in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, MSU Billings will be partnering with the Exchange Clubs of Billings for presentation of its Healing Field program. The program features 1,000 American flags (5-feet by 3 feet) flying on 8 foot-tall flag poles to honor American servicemen and women and those who died on 9/11. The Exchange Club of Billings had its first Healing Field in 2010 at Par 3 Golf Course, but it was agreed that efforts to remember, reflect, educate and dedicate should be combined this year at the MSU Billings College of Technology. Members of the Exchange Clubs of Billings have agreed to donate a portion of Healing Field flag sponsorships this year to support student scholarships at MSU Billings. To find out more, contact Kris at 698-2388 or kkoessl@aearchitects.com or contact Quentin at 672-8798 or quentin@eggartengineering.com. Their website — www.healingfield.org/billings — will be online soon.  


ORAL HISTORIES GATHERED: As part of a commitment to provide historical context of 9/11 and the events that followed as well as following its educational mission, MSU Billings will be undertaking an oral history project. Organized by Brian R. Kmec, a part-time history instructor and service learning coordinator in the MSU Billings Office of Community Involvement, the “Montana 9/11 Oral History Project” will gather interviews and 9/11 perspectives of citizens throughout Billings, Yellowstone County and Montana. To contact Kmec, write Brian.kmec@msubillings.edu or call 896-5827.


""WORLD TRADE CENTER RELIC TRAVELS: The piece of I-beam that will be the focus of the Montana 9/11 Memorial, will traveling this weekend. Representatives of MSU Billings will be accompanying the piece to Glendive and Miles City so others can see it. Through partnerships with Dawson Community College and Miles Community College, the piece will be at Fireman’s Park in Glendive as part of a CampusCorps service learning camp on Friday, June 24 from 3-6 p.m. and at the Miles City fire station on Saturday, June 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


WEBSITE CONNECTION: To keep abreast of all the activities surrounding the 9/11 memorial and to provide access to important material for teachers, volunteers and communities, a website has been developed. The site can be accessed at www.msubillings.edu/911memorial. That site will feature a variety of educational material developed by Elizabeth Fullon, a general educational instructor at the MSU Billings COT who was instrumental in securing the I-beam for the university.


For more information on the 9/11 memorial, go to the memorial website or call 657-2269.