The University will be receiving a jumbo update with the approval of construction for largest video board in college football at the Auburn Board of Trustees meeting Friday, Feb. 6.
The board voted on and approved a proposal to replace the south end zone scoreboard with a larger and more modern video board to be completed by the first home game against Jacksonville State on Sept. 12.
According to Jay Jacobs, director of athletics, the new video board will be approximately 200-by-105-feet. The project will also include the addition of new ribbon boards to the upper decks, as well as a new public announcement system.
"It will be the biggest and best in college football," Jacobs said "It's what our fans deserve, it's what our students deserve and it's what our football team deserves, so why not do it first class?"
University President Jay Gogue said numerous studies have been conducted to learn exactly what improvements fans wanted to see in Jordan-Hare. The studies concluded that people wanted improved sound and visuals.
"This isn't a response to please someone like me, but a response to fans that want to hear better and see in a bigger and better way," Gogue said. "When athletics looks at the game-day experience, they want it to be the best it can be for the fans."
According to Dan King, associate vice president of facilities, the video board project will begin in March with the removal of the current scoreboard and demolition of the existing steel structure. Construction of the new foundation and steel structure will be completed over the summer. Installation and testing of the video board is estimated to be completed in August.
"The schedule for this project has to be very aggressive to complete it by the 2015 season," King said. "This is a failure-is-not-an-option project. It's not to say there won't be some tense moments as we head into August, but I think we are OK."
According to Jacobs, the $13.9 million project will be paid for by the University and then reimbursed by the athletics program.
"(The athletics department) has over $20 million in reserve, but we don't want to take our reserve and cash out right now, so we are going to borrow this money for a year or two," Jacobs said. "Then if we move forward with any other renovations to the stadium we will go ahead and create a bond like we've been doing for 100 years at Auburn."
Jacobs said he is excited to see how this upgrade will benefit the University.
"We are one of the few schools in the nation that plays for a sold-out audience for every game and we are going to have to continue to do things to make sure that people want to come on campus," Jacobs said. "It's a great tool not only for athletic recruiting, but academic recruiting as well."
The board of trustees also approved a two-building project that would replace the existing Allison and Parker Halls. The new buildings will include new state-of the-art classrooms and laboratories.
SGA President Logan Powell said he is looking forward to how these buildings will improve learning for students.
"It will bring a lot of innovation and new ways to learn," Powell said. "There will be a lot of interactive type learning, especially for the COSAM areas."
Construction will begin in summer of 2017 and the buildings are estimated to be ready for use by the 2018 school year.
The board of trustees also approved:
-Construction of a new School of Nursing to be located at the corner of Lem Morrison and North Donahue Drives. The new facility will provide administrative offices, instructional classrooms and clinical and simulation areas.
-Phase II of the Samford Park project, which will begin construction summer 2015. This project will include the construction of a new walkway from Toomer's corner to Samford Hall.
"The plan would be to line the walkway with approximately 30 descendants of the original Auburn Oak trees in February of next year," King said.
-Proposal brought by the College of Veterinary Medicine to construct a food animal research facility.
-Proposal to build a facility in the Auburn Arena to support the women's volleyball team.
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