WVU sports: Board of Governors approves facilities plan
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The $106 million master plan for West Virginia University athletic facilities took a step closer to finalization at Friday’s Board of Governors meeting.
The BoG approved the plan, which covers a variety of expansion and renovation projects and additions to venues on campus, and forwarded it along to the Higher Education Policy Commission. It meets later this month and final approval there will turn the idea and the financing into reality.
The university plans to fund the various projects with $75 million from an $85 million bond, $25 million in private donations through the Mountaineer Athletic Club and $6 million from the capital expenditure fund contained within the multimedia rights contract with IMG College.
Additionally, WVU will pay the bond with income guaranteed from membership in the Big 12 Conference and the affiliation with IMG College.
The football program will see a new team meeting room inside the Puskar Center and Milan Puskar Stadium will have concourse areas expanded to accommodate larger entrance gates and enhanced concession stands and restrooms. Both will be financed by the bond and designed by the Iowa-based architectural firm Heery International. That group has been contracted in the past for similar work at Southern Miss and Atlanta’s Georgia Dome and Turner Field.
Up to four LED boards will be added to the interior bowl of the stadium while the gray walls circling the sidelines will be decorated with graphic coverage. Outside the Coliseum, a marquee will be added to advertise events at the intersection of Monongahela Boulevard and Patteson Drive. Money from the contract with IMG College will pay for each.
Those projects will begin in the initial wave of work this year.
The master plan will also consider improvements at other facilities at a later date. Inner concourse suites, private boxes, renovated restrooms and concession stands and an expanded concourse area could come to the Coliseum. A new indoor track could be added to the Shell Building.
The Shell, the swimming and diving team’s Natatorium and the tennis courts could all receive needed renovations. Other varsity sports could have new weight rooms and home and visitor locker rooms and Hawley Field, soon to be the former home to the baseball team, will be repurposed in a manner yet to be determined.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.