BILLINGS — As Montana State continues to appeal for funds to refurbish its athletic infrastructure, the Bobcat Quarterback Club’s latest contribution has pulled MSU closer to its immediate goals.

In a letter obtained by 406mtsports.com, athletic director Leon Costello thanked the BQC last week for a $1 million donation in gifts and commitments, which Costello said raised Montana State’s fundraising total for Phase 1 of its facilities master plan beyond the $12 million threshold.

Phase 1 of the overall plan, an ambitious 20-year blueprint that was announced in September 2017, calls for the construction of a 37,000 square foot football operations facility at the north end of Bobcat Stadium, as well as the renovation of the current football offices at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse into a 3,400-foot, all-inclusive student-athlete academic center.

The initial price tag for Phase 1 when it was announced was $16.8 million.

Founded in 2000, the Bobcat Quarterback Club helps to raise supplemental funds to support MSU football's operating budget.

“The Bobcat Quarterback Club is a critical leader in the success of our (football) program and to our winning future,” Costello wrote in the letter. “You are among our most dedicated fans and supporters.”

According to the master plan, the football operations facility, which will be dubbed the Bobcat Athletic Complex, is expected to include a new football locker area, offices and meeting space, as well as a weight training center, a nutrition refueling station and training and rehabilitation rooms for all athletes.

The complex is designed to enclose the north end of the field and serve as a “front door” to Bobcat Stadium.

By virtue of its donation, Costello told the Bobcat Quarterback Club that its donors “will be recognized in the new 150-seat team meeting room and receive access to this great space for (BQC) sponsored meetings, gatherings and events.”

Costello wrote: “To enable Bobcat Football to remain competitive, both in recruiting and on game days, we must provide facilities that are centers of excellence — that attract the best student-athletes and develop them into champions academically, athletically and socially.”

Meanwhile, the proposed academic center at the fieldhouse will be designed to include space for individual and group study, tutoring and computer stations.

“It’s a project in which every single Bobcat student-athlete will benefit,” Costello wrote.

In October, the Montana State athletic department announced it had received a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor, a pledge that will support Phase 1.

“Private support is essential to changing the face of MSU Athletics, and we hope Bobcat supporters at all levels will be inspired by this gift and join us in making this project a reality,” Costello said at the time.

Following the completion the first phase, MSU’s future plans call for the construction of a 160,000 square foot indoor performance facility to the south of Brick Breeden Fieldhouse to serve the football and track and field programs, as well as the renovation of the existing Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center to also include space for the women’s golf program.

Further proposed improvements to Bobcat Stadium include the addition of 2,000 additional seats in the north end zone to coincide with the Bobcat Athletic Complex, restoration of the dilapidated east grandstand and upgrades to the press box tower and suites on the west side.

Vast improvements to the fieldhouse and Worthington Arena, MSU’s basketball facility that was constructed in 1958, are also envisioned.

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Email Greg Rachac at greg.rachac@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @gregrachac

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