The WSU Board of Regents gave the green light for a new $61 million football operations building to be built at the west end zone area of Martin Stadium.
The vote was unanimous and gave the school permission to begin construction on the Monday after the Apple Cup. It will be complete by June 2014. Plans for the building include new weight room facilities, meeting rooms and coaches offices. It will also house a WSU Football heritage area for former letter winners.
In a letter to fans (see below), Athletic Director Bill Moos said the building is part of the "blueprint for creating a competitive and sustainable intercollegiate athletic program". And he said "the table is now set for success."
According to Washington State officials, money to pay for the new facility will come from funds saved during the remodeling of the south side of Martin Stadium last year and $46 million in general revenue bonds. Payments on the bonds will be covered entirely with money coming from the Pac-12 media contract.
In other business, the board also approved construction of a new WSU visitor center in Pullman to be located at the corner of Main and Spring streets. It will be a 4,000-square-foot facility funded primarily by private investments.
Below is the text of the letter Moos sent to supporters:
Dear Cougar Fans,
I am extremely excited about the Board of Regents approval of the Football Operations Building. This is a game-changing vote and I applaud the Regents for understanding its impact on the future of Washington State Athletics. I would also like to thank President Floyd for his unwavering support.
The Football Operations Building further enhances our facility initiatives for Washington State University and its department of intercollegiate athletics. It began with the premium seating area built last offseason. The addition of suites, loge boxes and club seating, along with a new press box, provides our Cougar fans amenities deserving of a Pac-12 institution.
A significant part of our blueprint for creating a competitive and sustainable intercollegiate athletic program centers around facility enhancements and a football operations building is at the top of the list. Our football student-athletes spend six days a year in Martin Stadium but they spend six days a week in the weight room, locker room, training rooms, and coaches' offices.
The table is now set for success: a high quality national coach of the year is at the helm; the athletic donor base is at an all-time high and continues to grow; season ticket sales are the highest they have been in 10 years; and the new premium seating area is complete and nearly sold out.
Prospective student-athletes are interested in us and want to come to Washington State to become Cougars and play for Mike Leach. The challenge has been a competitive disadvantage in athletic facilities when compared to other members in the Pac-12 and throughout the country. There are roughly $1 billion in facility projects that have been completed or nearing completion throughout the conference and we can't be left behind. The approval of this project closes that gap and serves as a major magnet for the most talented student-athletes in the country.