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Tue May 22, 2007 - Southeast Edition
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) A trustees panel has approved a design for eight new residence halls at Auburn University — a $118 million proposal described as the largest construction project ever for the campus.
The Property and Facilities Committee unanimously approved the design April 26.
“It is far and away the largest construction project we’ve undertaken,” said John Mouton, senior adviser to AU’s president.
The $118 million cost, covered by a planned bond issue, includes construction of eight buildings and a new parking lot.
A new dining hall to feed the 1,700 students who will live in the new apartment-style suites is part of a campus-wide dining plan that likely won’t go before the board until fall, Mouton said.
The new residence halls will not only help AU compete against other housing options in the city, but also serve as an asset to attract top quality students, especially freshmen, Mouton said.
Student Housing Director Kim Trupp said the project will allow AU to capture 80 percent of the freshman class, nearly twice as much as they get now among 22 residence halls.
The project will be paid for by selling bonds, which Mouton said would be repaid by the housing project itself.
“This project is twice as expensive as anything else we’ve built,” he said.
The university has spent $500 million to $600 million on construction in the last five to six years.
The Shelby Center for Engineering Technology, which is being built in two phases along Magnolia Avenue between the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the Lowder Business Building, is approximately $100 million.