Auburn Under Construction--Part 1

Auburn University is in the building mode again this summer with several major projects underway.

Auburn, Ala.—There is seldom a quiet moment on the Auburn University campus with the never-ending building race ongoing in several different locations. This summer is an especially busy one around Auburn's athletic facilities with several projects in full bloom.

After adding to the football complex with a full-length indoor facility and upgraded weight room last year, new dorm facilities as well as a parking deck plus a student wellness center have the usually quieter summer not very quiet.

"The university has the new South Donahue resident hall, the generic term for Sewell Hall's replacement," said Randy Byars, Auburn's Director of Facility Planning. "It's in the middle of construction right now. You can see it going up. There will be 400 beds so it's a much larger dorm than Sewell Hall was."

A fixture on the corner of Samford Avenue and Donahue Street for almost 50 years, the outdated Sewell Hall, a home to thousands of Auburn athletes over the decades, was demolished last year in favor of a more modern and much larger replacement. With the new addition scheduled to be completed in 2013, the need for more parking spaces has meant an addition across the street as well.

View of South Donahue Residence Call from Plainsman Park

With the athletic complex already in dire need of parking the addition of the new dorm would have been an even bigger struggle for those trying to get in and out of the complex at any time day or night. Because of that there is now a massive parking structure going up on Biggio Avenue where it once connected to Donahue Drive. Once completed it will house enough parking for the dorm while also giving back some parking to the athletic complex as well.

"Across the street in the athletic complex parking lot a parking structure, or deck, is going to supply parking for that dorm," Byars said. "The trustees want every time we build dorms now we supply parking for those. The deck supplies parking for the dorms and replaces parking spaces that are getting eaten up in this deck construction so we'll have about 600 spaces total."

View of the parking structure from the athletic complex, looking back towards Jordan-Hare Stadium

It's not just housing and parking that will be added on the south end of campus. There will also be another dining hall for the students. It won't be just any dining hall, however, as Byars said part of its use will be to help out with special meals for students who need that during the day.

"On the north end of the deck, not attached to the deck, but on the north end really sitting where Biggio used to be, will be a wellness kitchen dining facility opened to the university," Byars said. "It's one where we can serve healthy food for student-athletes and meet their nutrition needs.

"Also, it has part of it that is an allergy-free kitchen so students can come that may have nut allergies or gluten allergies or whatever else is out there and get some alternatives that they don't have on campus."

In addition to both the student housing and parking deck construction, there is also a massive project underway just in front of Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. The Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center is scheduled for a completion date next spring. The facility will feature 240,000 square feet of recreational space for Auburn students and will include state-of-the-art areas for a number of different activities. Included in that will be:

New recreation and wellness center

*1/3 mile indoor walking/running track (corkscrew configuration)
*Cardio/fitness training areas
*Weight training areas
*Eight basketball courts
*Outdoor activity/leisure pool
*Rock climbing wall
*Group exercise studios (yoga, spinning, mind-body, Zumba, etc.)
*Outdoor recreation (canoes, kayaks, etc.)
*Multi-purpose court (indoor soccer court / badminton courts, volleyball courts)
*Locker rooms (satellite locations)
*Golf simulator room
*Multi-purpose/activity rooms
*Game room
*Staff training rooms
*Racquetball courts

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