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Trustees approve first phase of Hill demolition, Village refurbishment

<p>Samford Hall on campus at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.</p>

Samford Hall on campus at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Next spring, Auburn University will begin demolishing most of the Hill dorms, following the first phase approval from the Board of Trustees at their Nov. 12 meeting.

During this phase, four residence halls in the northwest corner will be demolished: Toomer Hall, Dunn Hall, Dobbs Hall and Graves Hall. In the second and final phase, which has not yet been brought to trustees for approval, the remaining buildings will be demolished, except for Sasnett Hall, Boyd Hall and Terrell Hall.

According to University Housing, the dorms that are scheduled to be demolished in the spring are vacant.

The Hill Residence Hall complex was built primarily in the 1960s and consists of 14 buildings totaling over 1,400 beds. Given the age of the complex, Student Affairs concluded that investing in a major renovation would not be cost effective, according to a memorandum presented to trustees.

Dan King, associate vice president for facilities, said the area of campus currently occupied by the Hill is “extremely valuable” to the University as a site for academic buildings in the future, as the campus will grow towards the south in coming decades.

The cost of the first phase of demolition is expected to be $2.5 million, while the second phase is estimated to cost $5.0 million. Both phases are expected to be funded through the University’s general funds.

Map of the Hill residence hall complex. Four dorms in the northwest portion will begin being demolished next spring.

Next summer, the second phase of demolition is expected to begin, as well as the first phase of the refurbishment and repair of the Village Residence Halls. These buildings will be refurbished over the course of four years, beginning with Matthews Hall and Aubie Hall.

The project will renovate all 484 suites throughout the Village complex over four phases. The renovation will include replacing flooring, casework, vanities, countertops and bathroom fixtures of each suite in addition to repainting the suites and hallways.

Additionally, the air conditioning units will be replaced in each suite. Since trustees first approved this project at their Nov. 22, 2019, meeting, the need to replace the air conditioning units has become “urgent,” according to a memorandum presented to trustees.

The cost for the design of all four phases and the construction cost for the first phase is estimated to be $9.2 million, which will be funded by Student Affairs.

Map of the Village residence hall complex. The refurbishment will be completed over four phases through 2025.

Trustees also made headway into the construction of new residence halls. At Friday’s meeting, they gave final project approval for the renovation of three buildings to facilitate the relocation of the Early Learning Center, the Marriage & Family Therapy Center, the Center for Health Ecology & Equity Research and the College of Education EAGLES program.

Once these programs have been relocated, their buildings, which are adjacent to Haley Concourse and Upper Quad residence halls, will be able to be demolished and replaced with new student housing.

To facilitate the Early Learning Center, the Dawson Building on South Donahue Drive will be renovated to include the creation of classrooms, observation rooms, offices, a kitchen, clinic space, conference room, laundry room, an outdoor playground, storage and support space.

The project will build-out a 9,000 square foot floor of Research Park Building 1 to facilitate the Marriage & Family Therapy Center and the Center for Health Ecology & Equity Research. These renovations include the creation of a clinic space, observation rooms, a conference room, offices, storage and support space.

The EAGLES program will be moved to Suite 136 of Foy Hall, which will be renovated to create classrooms, offices, a conference room, storage, clinic space and storage space. There will also be ADA-compliant upgrades to the main entries and access points within the building.

The total project cost for the relocation and renovation project is $5.51 million, which will be financed by the University’s general funds.

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Map of the University, depicting where College of Human Sciences departments will be relocated. Their current site will be used in the future to build additional residence halls.

Trice Brown | Multimedia Editor

Trice Brown, senior in english language arts education, is the multimedia editor of The Auburn Plainsman. 


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