Looking around Auburn's campus, it's obvious the University is expanding and revitalizing for the coming year.
Not only has the Toomer's Corner construction blocked off a large amount of downtown, but some walkways have been fenced off as a result of the Samford Park redevelopment project.
Phase I of the Samford Park project was completed in February 2014 with the planting of the new Toomer's Oaks, according to Ben Burmester, campus planner. Phase II began with the installation of a 14-foot-wide brick arching walkway reaching from Toomer's Corner to Samford Hall.
"It's an arching path with a direct connection rather than the existing path network that meandered up toward Langdon and then over to Samford," Burmester said. "We think the project is going to create a more open park that's better, has better usage for all the Auburn community."
Martha Koontz, public relations and communications specialist for facilities management, said construction fences block the sidewalks in front of Biggin and Hargis Halls extending from Toomer's Corner to Langdon Hall, but will be removed at the end of June as the first section of the new walkway in the park is opened.
Even with those blocked walkways Koontz said she doesn't think it is a problem maneuvering downtown since there are other ways people can get to Toomer's Corner such as walking down the Thach concourse.
According to Koontz, the city has put pedestrian crossings behind Biggin and Hargis Halls to help people get downtown.
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Koontz also said in addition to redevelopment of the park, renovations started this summer on the Samford Hall roof replacement and minor envelope repair project, which will help protect the building from weather related elements.
"We are re-roofing Samford Hall, we are also re-caulking some of the windows, installing a new lightning protection system, updating gutters and downspouts, and also replacing cornices, which is the wooden architectural features around the top of the building," Koontz said.
Scaffolding went up around the west side of Samford Hall two weeks ago and will move to the front of the building in July, according to Koontz.
Burmester and Koontz said the project is on track to be completed fall 2015.
"Our goal is to have it completed by the first home football game," Koontz said. "That is the plan at this time, but that could change due to weather related elements."
According to Koontz, the last time Samford Hall was re-roofed was in 1994.
David Dorton, director of public affairs for the city of Auburn, said parking has been added on South College Street in front of Samford Hall because of the Toomer's Corner construction project.
There is a two hour time limit in place for the added parking spaces from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and vehicles in the spaces past two hours will receive a parking ticket, according to Dorton.
"So we've got the parking meters on South College temporarily, just to alleviate some of the parking that's being taken up by the construction area," Dorton said.
The extra parking on South College Street will be removed when the Corner construction is completed, according to Dorton.
"Our goal right now is Aug. 1 to open the intersection and Aug. 17 to be completely will all Corner construction," Dorton said.
Dorton said all metered parking is free for the public downtown with the restriction of a two hour time limit for on street parking and a four hour limit for off street parking.
Burmester said the added parking would not affect the Samford Park construction.
"The way that they did the parking still allows us to have access to our construction site, so it was a well-coordinated effort from the city and fine by us," Burmester.
The next portion of the Samford Park project is planting 20 descendent oak trees along the brick-arching walkway next winter, according to Burmester.
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