WVU plans major athletic renovations
MORGANTOWN — Members of West Virginia University’s Board of Governors will meet next week to discuss authorizing the financing of a major capital improvement project for its athletic facilities, according to university documents.
The BOG’s finance committee gathers on campus March 28 and will go over meeting items for the April 4 meeting with the full board. That agenda includes acting on athletic department’s master plan for the 2014 fiscal year, which features ideas to renovate and enhance numerous competition and practice venues.
At the heart of the financing is the issuance of an $85 million bond, $75 million of which will go to the athletic department. WVU plans to handle most of that bond with payments it’s guaranteed from the Big 12 Conference and the university’s partnership with IMG College. The Mountaineer Athletic Club intends to raise an additional $25 million from private donations while another $6 million will come from WVU’s contract with IMG College.
An extra $20 million bond is already in place for the tax-increment financing district to cover the new baseball stadium in Granville.
WVU’s major facilities will receive the most attention, but the master plan, previously approved by the university’s planning committee, will touch most parts of the athletic department.
If the BOG ultimately approves, the football program will have a new team room at its Puskar Center headquarters and Milan Puskar Stadium will see renovation and expansion for the concourse areas, concession stands, restrooms and entrance gates. That will be covered by the bond. The Iowa-based architectural firm Heery International will handle the design.
As many as four LED boards will be added inside the stadium and the barren gray walls will be decorated with graphic coverage. Money from the IMG College contract will cover both.
A marquee advertising events will adorn the outside of the Coliseum at the intersection of Monongahela Boulevard and Patteson Drive, and that will also be funded by the contract with IMG College.
The master plan will also consider other ideas to augment facilities. The Coliseum could add concourse suites and private boxes, as well as renovated restrooms and concession stands and an expanded concourse area.
The Shell Building could see a new indoor track. That building, the swimming and diving team’s Natatorium and the tennis courts could receive considerable renovations. Improvements might also be planned for the weight rooms and the home and visitor’s locker rooms for the other sports.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.