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A new campus event center creates previously unavailable opportunities for Auburn officials to cultivate partnerships with business, industry and government, raise private funds and conduct university-related functions.

“We had a rare opportunity to transform the area around the president’s home,” said Mike DeMaioribus, president pro tem of the Auburn Board of Trustees. “We wanted it done right so it can support the university’s mission for the next several generations.”

The event center represents approximately 85 percent of a 27,000-square-foot project that included renovating the previous president’s home into office, meeting and event space and construction of new living quarters for future presidents.

The previous facility was used extensively over the course of Because This Is Auburn – A Campaign for Auburn University that concluded Dec. 31, raising more than $1 billion for the university. The new event center is expected to play an even larger role in Auburn’s ongoing fundraising efforts as well as future comprehensive campaigns.

“The ability to use this new, expanded facility will create invaluable opportunities as we continue to engage our alumni and friends strategically in generating the vitally important philanthropic support required to fuel Auburn’s mission,” said Jane DiFolco Parker, Auburn’s vice president for development.

As to be expected with renovation of an 80-year-old facility, it required extensive repairs to wiring, plumbing and architectural systems, such as walls and windows to eliminate long-standing water infiltration problems. It also required unexpected work, such as replacement of most of the external bricks of the original facility and major repairs to underground utility systems. 

Two additional structures also were added to the event center: a new commercial kitchen to accommodate large-scale events and a garage with living space above it, which replaces the pre-existing detached carport and laundry and storage rooms.

The project originally was scheduled for completion by December 2017 but was extended to February 2018 due to unexpected repairs and project additions.

The final project cost is $16.9 million. Numerous upcoming activities and events already are scheduled for the new facility.