‘Wish list’ may be beyond budget

If Missouri Southern doesn’t spend $2 million, they’ll lose it.

Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) has arranged for the appropriation of $2 million for construction of a dual-use weather shelter and indoor practice football field. However, those funds must be spent by the end of the fiscal year.

“They need to be about the business of spending it,” Nodler said.

Planned for the south side of the stadium, the facility will include a turf practice field, bathrooms and possible storage.

The ideal facility, or “wish list,” includes a full-sized 100-yard field along with end zones. However, $2 million dollars may prove insufficient for such a structure.

“I’m going to be really surprised if we can get it done for that amount,” said Bob Harrington, director of the physical plant.

Estimates from Pinnacle Construction show a cost of $2.45 million for the whole project.

Harrington is still looking at other estimates, though the project will have to go out for bid before construction.

“It’s not an option, it’s going to be under $2 million,” he said, “The school does not have any money to put into this project.”

When completed, Southern will be the only school in the MIAA to boast an indoor practice field.

“We’re in the process of looking at what $2 million will buy us,” said Rob Yust, vice president for business affairs. “I would love for someone to dump another million into our laps.”

Justin Maskus, director of sports information, thinks a 70-yard facility, including 50-yards of playable field, the end zone and an additional 10-yards to spare would be a more realistic option if Southern’s $2 million can’t buy 100-yards.