As expected, the Board of Regents gave the final thumbs up needed for WSU to start construction on the new football operations building at Martin Stadium, according to a report by Megan Angelo. The regents also approved issuing $46 million in bonds to pay for the project, debt that will be paid back by new cash from the Pac-12 media deal. Construction on the new building will start immediately following the Apple Cup and is slated to be finished by Spring 2014.
This is an incredible day for Washington State University and the athletic department. As we noted in our post about the project, athletic director Bill Moos has said on multiple occasions this building is a necessity if football wishes to become more competitive.
This project's approval represents a few things. For one, Moos has gotten this project approved, the CFP finished and numerous other projects done in about three and a half years on the job. He's been getting things done at an absolutely ridiculous pace in his tenure as athletic director and his stamp on Martin Stadium will be seen for generations of Cougs to come.
This also emphasizes just how important the new media deal was to all the schools in the Pac-12 but especially Washington State. Although the university has the bonding power for the project, you obviously can't issue bonds for a project without knowing how to pay the debt back. Without the money from the Pac-12's media deal, the university never would've had the cash necessary to pay back the debt on the building.
The FOB (as I'm sure it will grow to be lovingly called) also provides amenities the football team has needed for years. A dedicated weight room, film rooms, space for classes and tutoring plus offices for all the coaches not only give WSU the football building it needs but, as Mr. Collier pointed out, opens up space in Bohler for other sports.
For a long time, this was a pipe dream if a dream at all. It something WSU has needed for years if they want to return to relevance in the conference. Take a look at what OSU's operations building did for them. It's part of the reason Moos has pushed so hard for this to be built. Some would wonder why you're spending so much money on the football team but I would politely remind them that as the football team goes, so goes the athletic departments pockets and there is nary an exception anywhere (outside of maybe Duke, Kentucky or maybe Kansas) in college athletics.
This is a big day for the Cougar football team. The CFP certainly was as well but I'd argue this is bigger. The football team gets everything could've ever dreamed off when it comes to a dedicated space just for them. A facility like this could make an immediate difference on the program in both the players that are here in 2014 and ones who aren't even in high school yet. You should have a smile a mile wide right now. Things are looking up for the Cougar football program.