PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Board of Regents approved a plan Friday (Oct. 22) for construction of a new 18-hole championship golf course and practice facility to replace the university’s current 9-hole course.

University administrators said that the course, to be built on a 315-acre site on the Pullman campus, would be a recreational amenity to students, faculty, staff and visitors, while protecting open space. Estimated cost of the golf course and practice facility is $8.4 million. University officials plan to raise private funds to pay for the project.

During their regularly scheduled meeting on the Pullman campus, the regents approved the schematic design documents for the golf course and granted authority to the administration to advertise for bids and award a construction contract. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2005 and be complete in summer 2006. John Harbottle Design of Tacoma has been selected as the prime consultant for the project.

University officials said the course would be designed to minimize increased water use and to protect environmentally sensitive areas, including Round Top Park, a small campus park maintained by campus and community volunteers. The design of the course includes outdoor teaching areas for turf sciences and environmental sciences.

The regents also approved the purchase of Adams Mall, an adjacent building and parking lot located on N.E. Colorado Boulevard and N.E. Monroe Street in Pullman for $1.5 million. University administrators supported a plan, authored by student regent Brady Horenstein, to create a task force made up of student and neighborhood representatives to discuss issues including the type of businesses that should be located in the mall, alcohol sales policies and the long-term plans for the area.

The university plans to seek bids from a management company to oversee the day-to-day operation of the 36,046 square-foot facility. Leases of the existing businesses in the mall will be honored until they expire.

In other action the board:

·         Honored molecular biologist John N. Abelson as the 34th recipient of the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award. Abelson is a pioneer in determining how the information in DNA is translated into the language of proteins and is co-founder of the company that developed one of the first three drugs that slashed the death rate among AIDS patients in the mid-1990s.

·         Approved design documents for a $34.6 million nursing building on the WSU Spokane campus and a $26.4 million bioproducts, sciences and engineering laboratory, a collaborative effort between WSU and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. Both projects are part of the university’s capital budget request for the upcoming legislative session.

·         Granted the administration authority to select a consulting firm for the proposed renovation of Martin Stadium. Total project cost is estimated at $55 million.