MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Board of Governors on Friday approved a $106-million master plan to upgrade athletics facilities, including a new 150-seat football meeting room.

Narvel Weese, WVU’s vice president for administration and finance, said the projects include $75 million in bonds. Another $25 million will come from Mountaineer Athletic Club fundraising and $6 million from the third-tier media-rights deal with IMG, the school said.

WVU photo

A rendering of the new players’ entrance and football team room at WVU’s Milan Puskar Stadium.

Weese said the bonds project be paid off with an increase in department revenue.

“Those capital improvements are coming from conference revenues, media rights revenue, additional revenues within athletics,” Weese said. “It’s not creating any financial burden with any other part of the university.”

The current football team meeting room—which Holgorsen infamously described as the worst in college football last year—is smallish, dated and marred by poor sight lines. Holgorsen claims it’s barely functional, much less on par with the lavish theater-style rooms other programs have unveiled in recent years.

The new design calls for a 4,500-square foot room with tiered seating. It will be constructed in concert with a new players’ entrance and lobby area at the Milan Puskar Center.

The master plan also seeks flexibility to fund projects that haven’t been designed—such as a WVU Coliseum renovation that would update restrooms, concourses and concession areas, and possibly add suites.

Other campus projects include repurposing Hawley Field, renovating the WVU Natatorium, constructing an indoor track at the Shell Building, and updating the varsity tennis courts.

The BOG also signed off on Phase 2 of the more than $52 million update for WVU’s main people-mover, the PRT rail system. Weese said the project will include the replacement of the train control system.

“It identifies where the car is on the track, so we don’t have collisions,” he said.

The university will increase the PRT fee for students by $10 a semester to pay for the improvements.

The BOG also learned more Friday about five public-private partnership projects on the Morgantown campuses that Weese said would generate nearly $2 million in annual tax revenues annually for up to 40 years.

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  • Rob

    It should be named after Bill Stewart

  • Scott

    Why is there so much chatter about the $$ from IMG. MSN pre-IMG brought in $6million +, why didn't WVU build these facilities before. PLUS Does anyone really believe that this will fix our problems in the football program? So a new theatre style team meeting room is gonna make our team better....please? Yes it would be nice but the size and 'site lines' of our meeting room is NOT the problem. We have a "managemen" problem, beginning wih Luck and Holgorsen. These millions would be better spent bringing in a real coach.

    • ViennaGuy

      I could be wrong, but I don't believe that MSN pre-IMG brought in $6 million **per year.**

      Whether we like it or not, first-class facilities are a necessity in D-1 football these days, especially when it comes to recruitment.

  • DWL

    Wait until a player's union kills NCAA football. If I were Northwestern, I'd eliminate every sport and scholarship, with the exception of academics. See how long it takes for the minorities & liberals to readjust their priorities.

    • It's always about the profit

      +1.....great strategy.

  • Picklebee

    Are there plans to provide adequate parking for our home basketball games? Parking at Shoney's and walking up to the game facing on coming traffic at 45 mph isn't the safest of situations to place fans in.
    And charging $20.00 parking per game is hurting attendance. I know of several families in our area who have quit attending bcause they feel it is too much, when you include ticket price, donations for the "right" to buy tickets and gas.
    There, I feel better.

    • Wowbagger

      The old Shoneys will soon become another athletic field (Shoneys is now in Sabraron) and this local, who has never thought much of basketball resents adding a half hour, and generally more to a trip to the grocery store every time there is a game.

  • pt

    I have great pride in the rifle team, but unfortunately, college sports is about money. The football program can generate the revenue to support these expenditures. Regardless of how good the rifle team is, they are not bringing in the $$$.

    • Wowbagger

      Why does college sports have to be "about money"? It used to be about character building and sportsmanship!

      • Greg

        And a bottle of pop cost a nickel at one time too.

  • Alum

    And how many critical articles will Mickey write next week?

    • ViennaGuy

      Mickey is probably having a meltdown over this.

    • Greg

      You know Mickey certainly has become quite sad. Will his family ever step in and make him quit making a fool of himself with his articles? Just unplug his internet for goodness sake. He's 95 years old so I do give him credit him for even being able to figure out how to turn a computer on. Assuming that is he just doesn't just hand write or type them on his typewriter, stick them in an envelope, and drop them off at the corner mailbox for someone at the Beckley Register Herald. Or maybe they should just hide his Jim Beam from him. I don't know. But please someone. Just step in!

  • Share the wealth and support!

    I am a loyal WVU football fan. However, while the football program may deserve these type facilities, it is absolutely a tragedy that no attention is paid to the champion Rifle Team. They continue to perform year after year and bring prominence to WVU. So how about it Ollie, can you spare a dime for the Rifle Team too?

    • Wowbagger


      • Interesting123

        The only reason WVU even still has a rifle team is because the state picks up the bill for it. If you remember WVU dropped the team till the state started appropriating money for it.

        • It's always about the profit

          Omg.....their operations cost is minimal!! The return on investment to WVU is infinite!

  • Mister G!

    And the national champion rifle team got discount coupons to CiCi's Pizza ...

  • Jeff

    I wonder how much Ollie will raise ticket prices to help pay for the improvements?

    • Hersh

      Did you not read the article? The GUARANTEED Big 12 TV deal, the GUARANTEED multimedia contract and $6 million in capital expenditures for video displays that came with it from IMG and the $25+ million in donoations raised from the Mountaineer Athletic Club are paying for this phase of much needed improvements. If your goal is cheap ticket prices and subpar facilities, there are teams in the Conference USA or the Sun Belt who fit that bill. It's the Big 12 for goodness sakes! 8 Bowl teams, including 3 who were in BCS Bowls, and the FCS runner-up on the schedule this year. If you think ticket prices should be like they were when we were playing UCONN, USF, Rutgers and Cincinnati, I don't know what to tell you. It's simple economics. I guess we could've stayed in what is now the AAC, taken a huge pay cut, which would be a fraction of what we're scheduled to pull in now, and quickly withered on the vine. But, hey. At least we'd have cheap ticket prices. Time to man up. The gravy train has left the station.

      • WV Worker

        All I got to say they better start playing like a Big 12 team if they want to be known as a Big 12 team

      • Rick S.

        I would caution that there are no GUARANTEES in life. The Big 12 television money will come in assuming the Big 12 conference remains in existence. Conference realignment is not done. Remember, WVU was guaranteed to remain in the Big East for two years after announcing its intentions to leave, but WVU bought its way out of the guarantee.

        Regarding the $6 million from the third-tier media-rights deal with IMG, remember, that is still in litigation. There are certainly no guarantees in the court system. That deal could very well be struck down, although even if it is, it would probably be replaced by a similar deal.

        There is also a very real possibility that the NCAA as we know it may cease to exist because of the multitude of lawsuits being filed by players and former players trying to grab a larger piece of the money pie. It certainly appears that players will be receiving salaries in the near future.

        Financially, this athletics facilities upgrade plan will probably work out fine, but there is a lot more financial risk to the non-athletic operations of the university than the press releases indicate.

        • ViennaGuy

          I highly doubt that the Big 12 conference will cease to exist anytime soon. It's a strong, healthy conference, unlike the Big East was - fracturing and completely falling apart.

  • Oh Did Ya?

    But wait.....I thought this deal to the Big 12 put WVU athletics in red ink. How could they afford all if these upgrades? Surely being in the AAC would have generated this kind of revenue to make upgrades to facilities - right?

  • Greg

    I know back in the seventies when the PRT was built it was designed such that there would be a station at The Arboretum / Coliseum. But as anyone who actually attended school there would know it was never built. Wouldn't that be a great asset toward alieviating the parking problem for basketball? A person could park downtown, at the med center, or one of the other stops and ride the PRT in. Maybe even have dinner and/or a cocktail before or after the game at one of the nearby restaurants. Just a thought.