Auburn student-athletes moved into the new-and-expansive suite-styled $51 million South Donahue Residence Hall in the summer of 2013.
The 209-room residence hall houses more non-athletes than athletes, but almost the entire football team is there as well as many athletes from other sports. The building, which features mostly two-bedroom suites, is in a perfect location -- just across from the athletics building, the weight room, the football practice fields, the athletics academics building, parking deck and the new Wellness Kitchen.
Just up the street are baseball's Plainsman Park, football's Jordan-Hare Stadium and basketball's Auburn Arena. Around the corner and down the street are the soccer and softball fields and the track.
Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn said the residence hall will impress the next wave of athletes.
"It's got to be one of the nicest in the country, and you put that with the location, I believe most parents want their kids on campus. That's how we're building this thing," he said.
Some of the suites have four bedrooms, and some are one bedroom for residence hall staff. But most are two bedrooms with hardwood floors, flat screen TVs, separate bathrooms and a small kitchen. There are even washers and dryers in every room. There are 426 beds, up from the 100 at Sewell Hall. The new facility is home to 418 students, with less than half being athletes, as required by NCAA rule.
There is a convenience store downstairs, too, and study rooms on every floor.
The NCAA voted athletic dorms out in 1991 and did away with them completely by 1996. But residence halls can house athletes as long as more than 50 percent of the students aren't athletes. This one was built by B.L. Harbert International. Montgomery-based Goodwyn Mills and Cawood were the architects.
The construction and development funding came from the university, not the athletics department.
Rooms with a view? Depends where you land. The residence hall is 250,000-square feet and offers different options. The baseball and football stadiums are one view. The athletics complex is another. Many will face the interior horseshoe courtyard and amphitheatre.