The West Virginia University Board of Governors approved Wednesday constructing a new College of Business and Economics building, renovating Hodges Hall and continuing to renovate the Milan Puskar Center football headquarters, the school announced in a news release.
The budget for the three projects is $176 million, and the board also approved Wednesday taking on up to over $100 million in bond debt to pay for the work, the release said.
WVU provided presentation documents Wednesday that say the John Chambers College of Business and Economics has committed to raising $40 million toward its $100 million new building, to be called Reynolds Hall, while WVU Athletics has committed to paying all $41 million of the new Milan Puskar Center work.
The university said it has begun demolishing Stansbury Hall, known by many as “the old fieldhouse,” and Reynolds Hall will be built on that site starting this fall, with completion anticipated for April 2022.
“This complex will not only be transformational in what it provides West Virginia University from an academic perspective,” the presentation said, “but it will also recast a portion of Morgantown’s waterfront into a hub of business activity.”
WVU said the building will be about 177,400 gross square feet, including classrooms, offices, dining and recreation areas.
The university will lightly renovate the current home of Business and Economics, and that building will then house several departments of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences: Public Administration, Sociology and Anthropology, Leadership Studies, Social Work, Communication Studies and Political Science.
Wednesday’s meeting agenda said the Hodges Hall renovations, which will be throughout its 94,700 square feet, will have a $35 million budget — all currently planned to be funded through the bond debt and reserves.
The building has been vacated already, and the work is expected to be completed in June 2021.
“Hodges Hall has seen no major renovations since its opening in 1954,” the agenda explains. “It is one of the largest general-purpose classroom buildings on campus and is in need of a major upgrade to meet the needs of today’s faculty and students.”
The renovated Hodges will also include a new 210-seat, centralized testing center.
The College of Arts and Sciences will occupy the upper floors with these programs: Women and Gender Studies, Native American Studies and World Languages, Literature, and Linguistics.
Regarding the Milan Puskar Center, Wednesday’s approval was for phases three and four of ongoing work there. Among other things, the building houses locker rooms and offices for the university football team.
The new renovations will include expanding the home team locker room, player lounge and equipment room. Coaches’ offices and the Hall of Traditions will also see work.
The hall, according to the presentation, will feature a video wall, interactive displays and display cases and showcase WVU football history. It will form the new, main entrance to the center.
The agenda said the current locker room “is inefficient for team meetings and is not large enough to support the full team roster.” Total project completion at the center is projected for July 2021.