SPOKANE, Wash. – Citing the importance of the health and safety of student athletes and the ability to be competitive in the Pac 12, the Washington State University Board of Regents on Nov. 16 approved construction of a new football operations building adjacent to Martin Stadium on the Pullman campus.
The $61 million structure will be funded with a combination of money saved in the remodeling of the south side of the stadium last year and $46 million in general revenue bonds. Payments on the bond issue will be covered entirely with funds from WSU’s involvement in the Pac 12 Conference, specifically revenue from the media contract and the new Pac 12 Television Network.
WSU Regent Ron Sims said he considers the building critical to keeping student athletes healthy. “Football is not just a contact sport, it is a violent, physical sport,” he said. “As a parent, if my child is going to compete in intercollegiate athletics, I want a facility where we are able to maximize his strength, stamina, recovery, flexibility, every aspect of his well-being.”
Scott Carson, chair of the board of regents, congratulated WSU President Elson Floyd and the entire team who worked on details of funding the facility. “We have been thoughtful in our discussion with the university and thoughtful in discussion among ourselves,” he said. “As a result, I am now in a position where I can support this.”
Regent Ted Baseler added that the new facility will help to bring WSU facilities in line with those of other universities in the Pac 12. “From our university perspective, it is important to have a top notch facility, and it is clear that it will be a recruiting advantage.”
Located on the west end of the stadium, Cougar football’s new home includes new weight, locker, equipment and training rooms for players, as well as meeting rooms and coaches’ offices. It will also feature a WSU Football heritage area and a game-day home for Gray W former letter winners. Construction is expected to begin next spring. The building’s completion will free up a substantial amount of space in Bohler Gym for team members of other intercollegiate athletics teams.
In other business, the board also approved the construction of a new WSU Visitor Center in Pullman. Located on the corner of Main and Spring streets in downtown Pullman the 4,000-square-foot facility is being funded primarily with private investments.