Auburn Board of Trustees decided to create more intramural fields on campus

Published: February 09, 2018
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The number of playing fields for intramural and club sports at Auburn University will be expanding.

At its meeting on Friday, the Auburn University Board of Trustees approved the purchase of two parcels of land totaling 177 acres adjacent to campus on West Longleaf Drive in order to provide expanded field labs for the College of Agriculture and College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, the acquisition will allow for construction of new recreation fields for both intramural and club sports.

Funds to purchase the land will be allocated from Campus Recreation, College of Veterinary Medicine and unrestricted university funds.

Currently field labs for beef, horse, swine and turf grass are located on both sides of Shug Jordan Parkway between Wire Road and South College Street. The approved land purchase is adjacent to these field labs just north of West Longleaf Drive.

Dan King, associate vice president of Facilities Management, said it’s been a longstanding goal of the university to expand recreational fields on campus, but it has been hindered by lack of available land.

With the West Longleaf Drive land, the current field labs can expand into it and the area behind the fraternity houses on Lem Morrison Drive becomes an ideal location for new recreational fields.

The existing Intramural Field was built in 1979 when approximately 18,000 students attended Auburn. With Auburn’s student population exceeding 28,000, there is need for more outdoor recreational venues.

The board also decided to initiate a project to construct a new complex for intramural and club sports including new softball and multiuse fields for lacrosse, soccer and rugby. Facilities Management will now begin the search for an architect.

The new fields are expected to cost about $12 million and will be paid for with Campus Recreation funds.

In his remarks to the board, President Steven Leath recognized Athletics Director Jay Jacobs, who is leaving Auburn this summer, as well as former Provost Tim Boosinger and his wife, Marcia Boosinger, who retired from the university in January after a combined 67 years of service to Auburn.

Leath also announced the hiring of Aramark to provide food services across campus, including athletics. The new partnership begins May 7.

In other matters, the board decided to:

  • Increase the budget for the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center from $65 million to $69.6. The lowest bid from three contractors called for a total cost of $72.3 million. Facing a $7.3 million increase, the project team worked to reduce the additional cost by $4.6 million instead. The monies will come from university general funds.

  • Hire Ghafari Associates of Birmingham as the architect for phases three through six of the Poultry Research Farm Unit relocation project. This is part of the project to move the entire farm unit from the Auburn University Research Park to the North Auburn Campus. Phase three includes a new 13,500-square-foot facility for the advancement of research and educational efforts related to poultry food safety, food quality, animal welfare, processing efficiency and other areas of study related to poultry sciences. Phases four and five include new poultry barns and other buildings and phase six is demolishing existing barns and other buildings in the research park.

  • Change the Classification of Instructional Program for the doctorate in public administration and public policy, jointly administered at Auburn and Auburn University Montgomery, from “public administration” to “political sciences and government, general” to emphasize a broader field of study in public administration.

  • Also change the Classification of Instructional Program for the doctorate in economics, offered jointly by the College of Agriculture, College of Liberal Arts and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn, from “business/managerial economics” to “applied economics” to more accurately reflect the diverse units that contribute to the degree curriculum.

  • Set the following board meeting dates: Sept. 14, 2018; Nov. 16, 2018; Feb. 15, 2019 at AUM; April 12, 2019 and June 7, 2019.

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.