The West Virginia University Board of Governors approved several measures during a special meeting on Friday (March 5) as the University continues efforts to successfully navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the future.
Under a plan approved by the Board, WVU will amend its current contract with Sodexo, which has seen a decline in revenues because of COVID-19.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Rob Alsop explained, “This will enable us to preserve revenues that can be reinvested into student-focused initiatives as well as capital investments in the dining program.”
The agreement, originally scheduled to end in 2033, will be extended three years. The agreement will continue with the same basic framework of the current Sodexo arrangement with WVU, with adjustments to the rates of growth in commissions to the University over the long-term while preserving WVU commissions in the short-term.
WVU has a long-standing relationship with Mylan Park, where students and student organizations have had access to the athletic fields and facilities at Mylan Park, including the new aquatic and track facilities. Due to the issues and financial impacts caused by the pandemic, the Board also approved negotiations between WVU and Mylan Park Foundation to amend existing agreements to extend their relationship, in a manner which will ensure that Mylan Park and the aquatics and track center have sufficient funds to continue operations through the pandemic.
Under the agreement, the University will agree to continue WVU Student Use Fee payments over a longer period of time, enabling continued use of the Mylan Park facilities over the long-term.
The pandemic hasn’t stopped a number of construction and capital improvement projects across the WVU system including construction of Reynolds Hall and renovations of Hodges Hall and the Milan Puskar Center.
The Board initially approved the financing through bonds in 2019. Athletics, the John Chambers College of Business and Economics and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences have also raised funds for these projects respectively.
“Given the cash we have on hand and continued historically low interest rates, we are requesting authority in the near future to issue up to $60 million in debt to cover remaining costs," Alsop said.
The Board authorized that request, in addition to additional $27 million for projects at the Health Sciences Center and approximately $22 million for a variety of smaller capital projects, including:
- Miscellaneous Minor Capital Projects - $3.5 million
- Mon Blvd Rockfall Remediation Project - $2.9 million
- Health Sciences Center, South, Morgue Renovation - $2.65 million
- Beckley Forensic Science Building Renovation - $1 million
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for April 23.
CONTACT: April Kaull, Executive Director of Communications
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