University District

(east central Missoula)

29Location: From the Clark Fork River to Hillcrest Loop/Drive (north-south) and from Southwest Higgins to the base of Mount Sentinel (west-east).

Character: Historical district

Features: University of Montana, located at the base of Mount Sentinel, University Golf Course, close to Downtown

Public Schools: Hellgate High School, Paxson Elementary

Parks: Madison, Jacob’s Island, River Bowl, Rankin, Clover Bowl, Anderson, John Toole, Bonner, Campbell

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University Area – Neighborhood a hub for activities

By Breeana Laughlin for Real Estate Marketplace

university_neighborhoodLocated at the base of Mount Sentinel, the culture, character and convenience of the University area neighborhood is a draw to students and long-term homeowners alike.

“I would say that it is definitely the most cultured part of Montana that I’ve ever been too,” said Meagan Coy, a University student and neighborhood resident.

“Pretty much any type of person can find something going on in the area that they enjoy, which I think is really unique,” she said.

While Coy moved to the neighborhood to attend The University of Montana, long-term residents appreciate the neighborhood just as well.

Pat and Don Simmons are a retired couple who have lived in the neighborhood twice for a total of 12 years.

“We feel comfortable here. It’s a lovely neighborhood and the variety of homes is very interesting,” said Pat Simmons.

“The main advantage about this place is location,” Don Simmons added. “We are five minutes – ten minutes at the most – from everything we want to do.”

The Simmons said they enjoy attending events at The University of Montana and downtown, while Coy said she enjoys going to the river trail and shops along the Hip Strip.

“I like to go down by the bike path and down by the river. There’s always something to watch – or just take in the scenery,” said Coy.

“I also like to go into shops I haven’t been into yet, because there’s so many diverse stores right within short walking distance of where I live,” she said. “It’s always fun to check out somewhere new.”

Coy said she knew right away the University area was the neighborhood where she wanted to live in Missoula.

“I definitely wanted to be somewhere in town where the action was – close to school and close to downtown – and get to experience the culture in that part of Missoula,” she said.

In addition to nearby attractions, residents said the neighborhood itself is a pleasant place to be.

“It’s a great walking neighborhood. I don’t think there was a time in our early residency when we didn’t walk around a half a dozen blocks because it was so nice,” Don Simmons said.

“It’s a beautiful old neighborhood,” Coy said.

“The lines of trees really give it a good feeling when you’re walking through the neighborhood,” she said.

The Simmons have children and grandchildren who have attended Hellgate High School and the University. Though their children are grown, they still appreciate being around students.

“We enjoy that the neighborhood has kids in it,” Pat Simmons said.

In fact, Don Simmons started the annual Ice Cream Social in the fall to welcome students back into the community.

“We have a band and free ice cream, and the members of the community and the University have really helped out so we can do it for free,” he said. “It gets a great response.”

Breeana Laughlin  is a freelance writer for the Missoulian Advertising Department.