St. Peter's Health Announces Purchase of Iconic Armory Building, Plans for West Side Expansion to Improve Access for Patients

June 6, 2024

Rendering image of the planned construction and remodeling of the Armory Building.

St. Peter’s Health announced today its purchase of the iconic Montana State Arsenal, Armory, and Drill Hall building, commonly known as the Armory Building, from D&M Development. The Armory Building will house a variety of healthcare services, creating an additional and more convenient access point for patients living and working on Helena’s West Side. Tentative plans call for construction and remodeling to begin in January of 2025.

“We are always evaluating how we can expand access for our patients and community members, and finding the physical space to house services and providers can be challenging,” said St. Peter’s Health Chief Executive Officer Wade Johnson, FACHE. “When we developed our strategic plan several years ago, the west side of Helena was an area of focus for expansion. The Armory is an ideal location due to its proximity to downtown businesses, schools, and nearby neighborhoods.”

St. Peter’s currently operates three outpatient clinics including its North Clinic, which recently expanded to include pharmacy services. Available space for additional expansion in these facilities is slim, yet a third-party evaluation conducted in 2022 suggests that Helena will need 30 additional providers over the next three years to meet community need. Almost half of this need is for primary care or family medicine services.

“Helena is growing and we’re committed to growing with it, just as we have for the past one hundred years,” said Johnson. “As our community’s health system we are responsible for meeting this need and we look forward to engaging with local businesses, schools, and people in the area to understand what they would like to have available in the Armory.” 

Funded in part by generous donors, St. Peter’s officials say they are still determining which services will be housed in the clinic. At this time, they anticipate expanding primary care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pharmacy, wellness, mental health, rehabilitation and therapy services. 

According to Johnson, the new location and services will also help grow their workforce, giving valuable on-the-job training for future caregivers. “We look forward to the opportunities we have in this space to expand internships, apprenticeships and volunteer engagements for students at Carroll College, Helena College and other education institutions including area high schools,” said Johnson. 

St. Peter’s purchased the Armory Building for $8 million but is planning for up to a $27 million total investment with renovations. The organization is in conversation with current tenants to help facilitate a smooth transition over the next six months.