Nov. 10, 2017
By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn University's Board of Trustees Friday approved the architect selection of player development buildings at Plainsman Park and Jane B. Moore Softball Complex as well as renovations to the locker rooms at Auburn Arena.
The Board of Trustees also gave final approval for the first phase of a project that will construct a one-story, 10,000-square-foot equine barn for Auburn's four-time national champion equestrian team. Program requirements include the demolition and replacement of the existing barn with a new barn designed specifically for equine use, team support facilities including team locker room, training room, and lounge. The project will also include utilities infrastructure along with site work.
"I appreciate the Auburn family providing the funding that allows us to accomplish these projects," Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. "I appreciate so much President Leath and the Board of Trustees for their vision and goal for us to be the best school for the best athletes. To do that, you need to have the best facilities."
The baseball facility enhancements will include four indoor batting cages, allowing Auburn to convert its current batting cage space into a pitching laboratory.
"We've been blessed in the first two years with the field renovation, the lights, scoreboard and seats," Auburn baseball coach Butch Thompson said. "This is our next big step, and it's a step in the direction of player development. To improve our work space, especially in inclement weather, to be able to hit inside. It's a player development investment that will benefit every player in our program."
The baseball renovations are helping in recruiting, said Thompson, whose 2017 class ranked No. 6 nationally.
"We already have this timeless ballpark and a great facility," Thompson said. "We couldn't have a better real estate proposition on our campus than where we exist. Player development is one of those lasting pieces that when a guy comes here, not only can he play in the best league in America at one of the best schools in America, but having the best facilities in America really rounds us out."
The softball improvement will include a player development center featuring an indoor practice infield and batting cages.
The Auburn Arena upgrades will include a new entry lobby, expanded locker room area, team meeting space and team lounge for men's basketball. Women's basketball will benefit with a new entry lobby, expanded team space and improved graphics.
"To attract high level student-athletes we must provide the space and facilities to help them train, said Jacobs, "Improvements to the locker room, training room and weight room will go a long way toward that end".
Jacobs has overseen more than $220 million of facilities investments since becoming Auburn's Director of Athletics in 2005.
"Everything we're doing, and that the Board of Trustees has so generously approved, is to enhance the overall experience for our student-athletes and the Auburn family," Jacobs said. "We have to continue to do more, but this is a great step in continuing to reach our goal of being the best school for the best athletes."