WVU Approves Plan for New Basketball Practice Complex

Thu January 01, 2009 - Northeast Edition

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) The West Virginia University Board of Governors on Dec. 12 approved plans for a $26 million, 64,000-sq.-ft. basketball practice building. Now, it just needs the money.

Athletic Director Ed Pastilong said the facility is important to WVU’s quest for a national championship, and men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins described it as “very much a need, not a want.’’

“It will allow us the flexibility of practicing every day in the same facility and also allow the student-athletes the flexibility to work out as their busy schedules permit,’’ Huggins said. “For us to stay in the upper echelon of college basketball, the practice facility is a must.’’

Women’s coach Mike Carey said the many scheduling conflicts that occur at the Coliseum create difficulty for his players, too.

“Most of the major Division I programs around the country have a practice facility,’’ he said. The building would also help with recruiting.

Both teams currently play and practice in the 14,000-seat Coliseum. The building also is home to the wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics teams. It has almost 100 offices, 13 lecture rooms, a dance studio, and racquetball and squash courts.

The Morgantown landmark, which features a distinctive, shell-shaped roof of poured concrete, opened in 1970.

The new building would be next to the Coliseum and include two practice courts, a players’ lounge, a study area, locker rooms and a weight room. Planners say they will incorporate green design elements, with energy-efficient lighting and electrical components. Construction would take about 18 months.

The board said bidding can proceed once the WVU administration has a financing package in place. The project is contingent upon private funding.