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Payment plan not set for facilities

New facilities for USF’s athletes could take longer to establish than expected as the $15-million project waits for a final financial outline. Construction of the two-story athletic facility was scheduled to start during the summer; however, Corey Johnson, deputy athletic director, said the university is waiting on a financial proposal from the bond issue.

“We’re hoping for the fall,” Johnson said. “The presentation plan has to be brought back to the Board (of Trustees) for approval.”

Last spring, Athletic Director Lee Roy Selmon said an exact price for the structure would not be known until a building contractor was hired. Johnson said the contractors have already been hired, but the facility’s final design and financial plan have to be reconsidered.

Original plans presented for the athletic facility sought for a 60,000-square-foot structure with a possible increase up to 110,000 square feet. Johnson said the athletic department is examining the plans to see how much the building can be increased based on the price per square foot. However, the cost cannot exceed the $15-million budget, Johnson said.

“It depends upon the size and cost per square foot,” Johnson said. “If the price is way over, then we have to cut it.”

Johnson said the price per square foot is not yet known, but if spending allows for a larger structure, the two-story design would remain.

“The necessary footprint for the building I can’t tell you,” Johnson said. “But the basis of our focus is to be a two-story building.”

The university will be issued a bond to finance the building, but Johnson said its payment plan has not been finalized.

“We don’t know which funding avenue the university is going to pursue,” Johnson said.

About $1.2 million, Johnson said, will come from student-athletic flat fees and the beverage-pouring rights.

However, determining how long it will take the university to pay for the structure is unknown, Johnson said.

“It depends on what our payment plan is and whatever the loan interest is,” Johnson said.

Last spring, Selmon said $2 million in donations would help pay the bill, as well. Johnson said that is a goal the university is still seeking.

“We have confirmed pledges,” Johnson said. “But to give you a number right now would not be accurate.”