Approval Step For WVU’s Puskar Center Renovations
A large next step of West Virginia’s plans to improve its football facilities has been has been approved by the WVU Board of Governors.
Renovations for the football complex, detailed in the “Climbing Higher” fundraising campaign that aims to raise a total of $100 million, were pegged at $55 million. In this current project, $41 million worth of work has now received the OK from the Board of Governors. Funded by a combination of private donations, auxiliary revenue, private financing (bonds) and reserves, the work at the Puskar Center includes expansion and renovation of spaces that are more than 10 years old, including the home team locker room, player lounge, equipment room, recovery suite, infrastructure, the Hall of Traditions, offices, team meeting rooms and other support spaces.
One of the major aspects of this project includes the moving of the Brohard Football Hall of Traditions from its current, somewhat inaccessible space in the back corner of the Puskar Center to a new, two-story atrium structure located on the front right of the center. That will make it much more accessible to fans, as the Robinson/Petroplus Basketball Hall is in the Mountaineer basketball practice facility. It will also make room for some of the additional renovations in this and future projects.
“This is long overdue, and will finally put the history of Mountaineer football on display to the public at regular times,” we wrote when the plan to move the Brohard Hall of Traditions was detailed. “The current location, only accessible via the Puskar Center by walking past coaches’ offices and position meeting rooms, was a disaster in terms of visibility and access to the public. The new location will also serve as the front entrance to the complex as visitors turn off Don Nehlen Drive.”
According to the plan submitted to and approved by the Board of Governors. the current locker room layout is inefficient for team meetings and is not large enough to support the full team roster. Included in the renovations are upgrades to the building infrastructure, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, along with AV and technology upgrades to support current and future phases of the renovation.
“Through the years there have been a lot of things we’ve done to the Puskar Center,” WVU director of athletics Shane Lyons explained when the overall campaign and plans were unveiled a year ago. “We’ve added the new team room, the training room, the training table and the practice fields. These are the next area that sorely need addressed.”
The project is scheduled to be complete by July 2021.
The Board also unanimously approved the issuing of up to $110 million in revenue bonds to finance a portion of the projects. A second financing may occur toward the end of 2020. The Board also authorized the reissuing of up to $55 million in previously issued debt that is callable in October of this year. Board members Charles Capito and Taunja Willis Miller both recused themselves from consideration of the financing because their employers are involved in the bond process.