MSU athletics

Montana State raised $18 million for the Bobcat Athletic Complex.

Montana State succeeded in its largest athletics fundraising campaign ever, raising $18 million for the Bobcat Athletic Complex, an addition planned for the north end of Bobcat Stadium that will be the new home for MSU’s football program.

Construction will begin on the 40,000-square-foot addition after the 2019 football season. The facility is expected to open before the 2021 season.

“Our private donors are helping to change the face of MSU Athletics, providing us with the tools we need to help create champions — both in the classroom and in life,” MSU Athletics Director Leon Costello said. “For that opportunity, we are immensely grateful.”

The Bobcat Athletic Complex is part of Phase I of the Athletics Facility Master Plan, which was published in 2017. The two-story facility will house locker rooms, athletic training spaces, team meeting rooms, rehabilitation spaces, equipment storage and offices for coaches.

In addition to the BAC, the project will transform the office space vacated by the football coaches in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse into a 3,400-square-foot tutoring, academic advising and study area for all student-athletes.

“These additions and improvements will provide essential resources for student-athlete success, whether it’s on the field or in the classroom,” Costello said. “Their impact will be felt by every program and every student-athlete.”

At the July meeting of the state Board of Regents in Helena, the university received authority to spend up to $18 million in non-state funds for construction of the project, including gifts, donations and in-kind contributions. Up to $3 million will be financed by MSU, which is to be repaid from athletics revenues. No taxpayer money will be used to fund the project.

MSU Alumni Foundation President and CEO Chris Murray said more than 500 donors have contributed to the BAC thus far.

The Athletics Facility Master Plan’s goals include renovations at the Fieldhouse and stadium, as well as new or expanded facilities for track, tennis and golf, to provide space for students, faculty, staff and the community.

Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.