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WVU Board of Governors green lights three construction projects

West Virginia University’s Board of Governors gave the green light to three major construction projects totaling $176 million at a special meeting Wednesday.

At the top of the list is the construction of Reynolds Hall, the new home of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. The 180,000-square-foot building will be constructed where Stansbury Hall now stands. Stansbury is being demolished.

Javier Reyes, dean of the business school, said the new building, located along the banks of the Monongahela River, will give business students more access to the river, as well as provide space for river-related events to be held.

The building, named for WVU graduate and financier Robert Reynolds, is expected to be ready for occupancy in June 2022

The second project is $41 million in upgrades to the Milan Puskar Center. Areas targeted for renovation at the stadium include the home team locker room — which is more than 10 years old — the player lounge, equipment room, recovery suite, infrastructure, Hall of Traditions, offices, team meeting rooms and other support spaces.

The locker room layout is not suitable for team meetings and not large enough to support a full roster. Included in the renovations are upgrades to the building infrastructure, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as AV and technology upgrades. Work should be completed in July 2021.

“The current spaces are over 10 years old,” Athletic Director Shane Lyons said during Wednesday’s meeting. “We want to make a clear and simple statement that football at WVU matters.”

The $35 million planned renovation of Hodges Hall — which has not been updated since it opened in 1954 — will include newer, contemporary classrooms, computer classrooms, plus seminar and meeting rooms, updated offices, improved technology and a 210-seat testing center. There is currently no centralized testing center on the downtown campus.

“It will provide a framework for future growth enrollment,” Provost Maryanne Reed said. “We don’t have a variety of classrooms and this will be a showcase facility.”

The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Women and Gender Studies, Native American Studies and World Languages, Literature and Linguistics will occupy Hodges’ upper floors. Occupancy of the renovated space is planned for June 2021.

“Hodges is the linchpin to updating and modernizing the downtown campus,” Reed said.

All three projects will be funded by a combination of private donations, auxiliary revenue, bonds and cash reserves, the university said.