The Auburn football program is finally getting a dedicated, standalone facility on campus.
The Board of Trustees gave final approval for the Football Performance Center project during its virtual meeting Friday. The estimated cost is $91.9 million.
The expected completion date is July 2022, in time for the start of what would be Bryan Harsin’s second season leading the program.
The facility will stand on the site of the old Hutsell Track, on West Samford Avenue between Wire Road and Biggio Drive. Site preparation has been ongoing for months.
It’s purpose: “Provide the Auburn University football team with the key and essential capabilities and resources needed to successfully compete within the Southeastern Conference and with national peer programs.”
Design renderings for the project, revealed last month, show an operations building (131,100 square feet), weight room, indoor practice facility (95,300 square feet) and two natural grass outdoor practice fields.
Some of the amenities inside include a large, circular locker room, team meeting spaces, a player’s lounge, a barbershop, a recording studio, a flight simulator, and offices for coaches and staff, with large video displays throughout.
QUICK IMPACT:These Auburn football signees could play immediately for Bryan Harsin in 2021
ANALYSIS:Making sense of Auburn football’s lowest-ranked recruiting class since 2004
It’s a needed step for a program that has fallen behind its biggest rivals in the college football arms race. Alabama’s Mal Moore Athletic Facility underwent a state-of-the-art renovation in 2013 and was upgraded again last year. Auburn still houses its football operations out of a multi-purpose facility opened in 1989.
Auburn’s last major facility upgrade for football was the $28 million Harbert Family Recruiting Center, which brought a new locker room, recruiting area, club spaces and press box to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2018.
All football operations will move into the new facility once open. The existing building would continue to house athletic department operations and may eventually be used to relocate staff members working out of Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
Sealed bids to construct the project are being accepted until Tuesday, at which point they will be unsealed and made public. The lowest bidder will be selected. The project is being funded by university bonds with the debt service being paid for by athletics department funds.
The university announced a $10 million donation commitment to the project – the largest donation in Auburn athletics history – from Walt and Ginger Waltosz in November 2019.
Auburn athletics reported a surplus of nearly $17.9 million during the 2019-20 fiscal year – its largest in 12 years.
Josh Vitale is the Auburn beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. You can follow him on Twitter at @JoshVitale. To reach him by email, click here.