Photo of the solar panel roof of the Missoula College bus shelter.
Environment

Building a Sustainable Community

MFCU and Missoula College provide a hands-on learning opportunity for students to use sustainable building technology.

On December 13, 2018, the Missoula College campus celebrated a new addition in the form of a solar-powered bus shelter. This environmentally friendly structure is not only a showcase of sustainable construction practices but is a monument to the importance of empowering students through experiential learning.

In the spring of 2018, Missoula Federal Credit Union forged a partnership with the Missoula College, Mountain Line, and ASUM Transportation to formalize plans for a new bus shelter at the Missoula College campus. Along with wanting to bring more banking services to the campus, there was a desire to incorporate sustainable construction techniques as well.

Hands-on learning is the best learning

The project goals were to not only improve the quality of access to public transportation and introduce renewable energy technology to power an ATM but also to involve students in the fabrication of the structure. Welding, Heavy Equipment, as well as Carpentry and Sustainable Construction students, were able to take the techniques learned in the classroom and apply them to a tangible, real-world project.

Missoula College instructor and students measuring lumber.

Collaborating with the faculty and students at Missoula College was a fantastic way for MFCU to demonstrate our commitment to empowering people and protecting the environment in a meaningful and hands-on way. For the students who participated, the immersive learning component of this project was essential because they developed a better understanding of the steps needed to guide a project from idea to completion.

A welding student at the Missoula College working on a piece of the bus stop structure.

As a student, it’s a little nerve-racking to be like ‘uh-oh-it’s going to go out there and everyone is going to know that we made it.’ But now that we put it all together, it’s a good, accomplished feeling.

— Nolee Anderson.
Photo of Missoula College student Nolee Anderson.
Nolee Anderson - Carpentry & Sustainable Construction student at the Missoula College

One of the philosophies at the forefront of MFCU’s community outreach efforts is our continued commitment to values-based banking. One of those values being delivering important impacts with our resources that result in positive contributions to the environment, to our members, and the local economy. The solar-powered bus shelter at Missoula College is a great demonstration of our ability to harness renewable energy, add value to our members, and make our community a little greener.

Photo of male Missoula College student sitting in a new bus stop shelter.

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