Approval expected Friday for football complex

BILL MOOS freely admits to being "an optimistic person," but he likes to think he has sound reasons to believe the Washington State University Board of Regents will approve construction of the Cougars' proposed football operations building Friday in Spokane.

"I'm hopeful the regents will give us their approval," Moos told on Tuesday. "I feel good about the conversations that we've had over the course of the past year.

"I think they're fully up to date on the design and the cost aspect of it, and also with the proposed funding model, so I think we're in good shape."

Moos said he has heard nothing from regents regarding WSU's 2-8 football record under first-year coach Mike Leach or the recent controversy centered around disgruntled former wide receiver Marquess Wilson.

Drawings of the new complex can be found at the bottom of this article

"I haven't had any conversations with the regents on anything other than the proposed operations building," Moos said.

The Cougars, who spent $65 million on the south-side premium seats and press box that were added to Martin Stadium this year, have budgeted $61 million for the operations building.

Moos said the Cougars plan to secure $46 million in bonds to supplement $15 million left over from the $80 million in bonds that were obtained for the south-side project. Millions of dollars of additional television revenue now coming in annually makes the Cougars "confident we can handle the debt," Moos said.

The operations building will rise four stories above the west end of Martin Stadium (there's also a basement level). It will be higher than the present scoreboard/video board, which is set to be moved to the east side of the stadium.

Construction would start Nov. 26, three days after the Cougars close out the season against visiting Washington in the Apple Cup. The building is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014.

Moos said a football-only building, common among college football powers, "serves as a tremendous resource in regards to recruiting." It also would free up room in WSU's Bohler Athletic Complex for non-football athletes.

The 79,000-square-foot football operations building would include a weight room, training room, equipment room, meeting rooms, coaches offices, an auditorium and a dining area.

On game days, the dining area would become a meeting place for former WSU football players and their families. The area "most probably" will be named te Gray W Room or Cougar Legends Room, Moos said.

"That will celebrate the great players, teams and coaches throughout the history of Cougar football," Moos said. "It will be a space that will be accessible to the public."

Moos is scheduled to formally present his plan to the regents on Thursday in Spokane.

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