WSU

Cougar AD Bill Moos says Indoor Practice Facility rebuild has been on back burner

IT'S BEEN NEARLY TWO YEARS since Washington State launched a major fundraising effort to kick start the construction time line on a new indoor practice facility and a baseball clubhouse at Bailey-Brayton Field. Bill Moos on his radio show Monday said the finish line is coming into sight for the clubhouse, but the IPF has taken a back seat to other facilities projects.

"The indoor practice facility, we kind of have left that there. We've got it keen on our minds to try to get these other (facilities upgrades) done. We've got some facility enhancement in our swimming program that we now have the money for, and then once ... soccer is off and running and we get that (baseball) clubhouse tied up, we're going to go full force into the indoor facility," Moos said on his radio show Monday with Derek Deis of KXLY in Spokane.

The current IPF features hard, roll-out turf that Moos told donors in 2013 is "an ACL injury waiting to happen."  Besides the inferior turf, it's small, cold, poorly lit and limits what the Cougar football team can do in a practice. Moos said while the IPF has been on the back burner, its importance level has not diminished.

"It can be hard to train and practice and prepare and that's why we really, really are putting an emphasis on the indoor facility," Moos said.

Moos said in December 2014 that his hope was to secure enough donations to break ground on the new IPF in the second half of 2015. By June of that year, the sobering reality of trying to fund raise among a historically stingy alum group had set in, as Moos told CF.C. that the pace of donations wasn't close to where it needed to be.

The new IPF would be used year-round via the rotation of nearly every sport at WSU. Originally planned to be a permanent structure when first constructed in 2002, the new IPF would use the existing foundation, expand east and, Moos said, feature 120,000 square feet.

The proposed IPF (pictured above) is expected to cost between $23 million and $26 million. The new facility would accommodate two 50-yard football fields, a side area for training, locker rooms, offices and a banked, hydraulic track. It also would be climate controlled in a state-of-the-art way so coaches can mimic the weather of their next destination. And, unlike the current IPF, it would be fully lit and feature joint-friendly Field Turf. 

MOOS ALSO SAID the price tag on the new baseball clubhouse would be $9.5 million. Previous public estimates have been in the $6.5 million range, but apparently did not include all phases of the project. Roughly $3 million in pledges was secured by former Cougar baseball coach Donnie Marbut in the years before he left.

"We're trying to close all our pledges on the clubhouse before the first of the year so people can take advantage of the tax benefits. We're a little less than $1 million away on that for what is a $9.5 million project. So a lot of our effort has gone into the baseball clubhouse. And I have every reason to believe that will be a reality before too long," said Moos.

Funding for the IPF and baseball clubhouse falls solely on the shoulders of Cougar fans, as bonded financing avenues have been exhausted by the Cougar Football Complex and the Martin Stadium remodel. The Cougar Athletic Fund meanwhile is dedicated to scholarships.

"And we do need to clarify ... the CAF is primarily unrestricted funds for scholarships. And that cost, that line item is right around $13 million, we'll be close to (8,000 CAF members) so it's kind of a moving target - we're making progress. Our hope is to get to the point where our annual gifts cover that entire cost for scholarships," Moos said.

NOTABLE NOTES:

  • Originally, Phase II of improvements to WSU’s soccer facilities were to begin February 2016.  Moos said Monday "the regents have approved Phase II of our soccer facility project ... and we'll break ground on that after the first of the year and it will be ready for this coming fall, the 2017 season."  The facility, which was spruced up in 2014 with new turf and lighting, will be getting a permanent grandstand, concession stand, restrooms, ticketing area, meeting areas and press box. Click here for an artist's rendering.
  • Fundraising for Cougar athletics in general has been (charitably) described as modest over recent years. The last major contributor was Greg Rankich, who pledged $3 million nearly four years ago — the type of donation many Power 5 schools receive from multiple people on an annual basis.

2013 CF.C ARCHIVES: Cougs' New Mexico Bowl bid highlights in major way the need for new IPF


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