The Gateway Community Center
A Little About Our History
Why & How Did This Project Start?
The Gateway Community Center (GCC) was the dream of the late Earl Bennett, who was the Flathead County Administrator for many years. Earl approached the United Way in 1995 to share his vision, and the United Way agreed to serve as the lead agency on this wonderful project.
Why Was The Old Gateway West Mall Selected for this project?
The Steering Committee’s work included researching the best options: new construction versus renovating an existing building. Upon completion of a two-year study, the United Way relocated to the old Gateway West Mall and the development of a 10-year strategic plan began with the purchase of the building to occur within the first five years. The facility offers accessibility, parking, and the potential of over 39 non-profit agency sites as well as community meeting room spaces.
Was the purchase of the Gateway West Mall a good investment?
The GCC appraised for much more than the purchase price of 2.4 million! The goal is to retire the mortgage and eliminate annual payments of over $195,000 with support from the G2M Capital Campaign.
Who Benefits From The Gateway Community Center?
Northwest Montana does! With multiple non-profit service providers in the facility as well as walking tracks, multiple meeting/gathering rooms and large public spaces, we all benefit! The non-profit agencies currently serve approximately 1,700 clients per month.
Over 100 community organizations utilize the facility’s meeting and conference rooms, hosting training sessions, fund raising events, and a wide variety of services. The GCC hosted over 2,000 events in 2018 and 2019!
How Will People In Need Be Able To Receive Services?
The GCC is the transfer station for the new valley-wide routing system. Eagle Transit provides transportation to the GCC every 30 minutes throughout the day.
How Have The Renovations Been Funded To Date?
Monetary and in-kind contributions and grants have supported renovations for the completed units. With only six spaces left to remodel, we are so close to completion! Community volunteers, business teams, and youth groups have donated many hours of service to the renovation efforts.
What If The Gateway Community Center Did Not Exist?
The financial impact to the non-profit agencies who utilize the GCC would be very significant. Rent costs for all resident agencies would increase dramatically as their current rents at the GCC are well below market rates.
Community members would not have access to the common areas to walk, socialize, or engage in rehabilitation physical therapy, etc.
The Gateway Community Center@ 2013