Auburn University Board of Trustees takes action to create new building for College of Education

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The Auburn University College of Education will have a new home.

At its meeting Friday, the university Board of Trustees decided to initiate a project to construct a new building for the college on P.O. Davis Drive, west of the Poultry Science Building.

The College of Education is predominately located in Haley Center, with personnel operating in six other campus buildings.

A new building exclusively for the college would reduce the number of personnel assigned to Haley, which is consistent with the university’s comprehensive campus master plan.

Provost Bill Hardgrave said the entire college would be in the new facility, except for the School of Kinesiology, which will remain in its own building.

He noted that the site on P.O. Davis Drive is ideal as there is no existing building to demolish.

The College of Education is the fifth largest academic unit on campus with an undergraduate enrollment of more than 1,800. It has the largest graduate student enrollment with approximately 1,000 students.

Facilities Management now will begin the search for a project architect.

The board also decided to purchase the Hood McPherson Building, 2013 Fourth Ave. N., in Birmingham. The six-story, 44,000-square-foot building would allow Auburn to have a permanent presence in the city, which is home to the university’s largest donor and alumni base.

President Steven Leath advocated for the $1.55 million purchase as the building would serve as the home of Auburn’s Urban Studio. For the past 30 years, the program from the College of Architecture, Design and Construction has leased property in Birmingham.

The building will also serve as a dedicated event center and functional office, lecture and meeting space for Auburn.

In other matters, the board approved awarding a Bachelor of Science in National Resources Management, posthumously, to Courtney Taylor Thomas, who died in October.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 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.