Auburn University, City of Gulf Shores break ground on educational complex

Published: June 30, 2017
Updated: August 23, 2018
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Auburn University and the City of Gulf Shores today broke ground on a complex that will serve as an educational outpost for the university and a resource for the Gulf Coast.

The 24,000-square-foot Auburn University Educational Complex will house four programs: the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Auburn University Aviation Center, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

"As an institution, Auburn will continue working with public and private partners to help drive the state's economy and provide the research and knowledge that will enhance residents' quality of life. This new educational complex is an excellent example of collaboration and provides a model for the type of partnership that serves us all," said Auburn University President Steven Leath.

The College of Veterinary Medicine's referral center will be the centerpiece of the Auburn University Educational Complex. The center will provide specialty and after-hours veterinary services and educational opportunities for students interested in internal medicine and surgery.

The multiuse complex will also serve as a place for the Auburn Aviation Center to conduct outreach programs; a resource for plant disease and insect diagnostics; a venue for local gardeners to connect with professional Extension personnel and master gardeners; and a platform for Auburn students to study and practice while Gulf Shores residents benefit from new learning experiences and services.

"Establishing the Auburn University Educational Complex in Gulf Shores advances our institution's mission by providing educational opportunities and services that are not only mutually beneficial, but also impactful," said Auburn University Provost Timothy Boosinger. "I am excited to expand Auburn's reach to this economically vibrant area and extend our mission by providing renowned academic programs that will positively impact Alabama's citizens."

The City of Gulf Shores announced in 2014 a strategic plan called "Small Town, Big Beach Vision 2025 for Sustainability" that included plans for the Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence, an academic campus with a new high school and a new location for Faulkner State Community College. The Auburn University Educational Complex will help meet the needs of the strategic plan by offering educational and economic development resources for the community, strengthening the region's ability to serve its citizens.

"Auburn University's investment in our community validates our vision of enhancing education at all levels, and today's groundbreaking marks a significant step toward turning this vision into reality," said Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft.

The Auburn University Educational Complex will be located at 21541 Coastal Gateway Blvd. in Gulf Shores, which is at the corner of the Beach Express and Coastal Gateway Boulevard, adjacent to land acquired by the City of Gulf Shores for a new high school and the planned Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.