The $30 million dream that eventually became the Missoula College was officially opened on Friday with a Salish prayer and blessing, and a ribbon cutting by Governor Steve Bullock.

"I think it was about three years ago when many of us stood on this very spot, just a dirt lot and some backhoes," said Governor Bullock. "Now you look three years later at the state of the art classrooms, but also thousands of students walking through these doors pursuing opportunities that for some may not have ever been imaginable."

Bullock praised the concept of public education, with its fulfillment for students who will be receiving degrees from the Missoula College.

"Public education is the great equalizer and it still weighs with the same significance," he said. "When a Montanan has the opportunity to access a quality affordable education that equips him with the skill and the knowledge to have a great opportunity to succeed in today's world no matter where they're from or what their upbringing might have been,"

The old Missoula College near the Missoula County Fairgrounds consisted of cast-off trailers with aging equipment with room for 800 students that regularly housed nearly 2,000. That changed in 2014 when ground was broken for the new Missoula College by the Bitterroot River on East Broadway. It was originally proposed at the present University Golf Course, but the public outcry forced officials to move the facility to its present location.