If you've been around Auburn over the past few weeks (and months), then you've probably noticed that there's even more construction and road work than normal. Auburn hasn't stopped with on-campus construction in some form or fashion it seems since before I graduated and they began work on the COSAM building next to Parker Hall.
The projects that concern football fans the most are the renovations to Toomer's Corner and the completion of MOTHRATRON. Toomer's Corner, the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue (in case anyone was confused on where this site's name comes from), has been shut down since shortly after spring semester's classes ended.
If there's one thing the city and university love to do, it's put up webcams. You can watch construction on both projects via YouTube webcams.
If you're curious just how the scoreboard is going to look, the school released an official rendering of it, yesterday.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here it is! The OFFICIAL rendering of college's largest video board coming to Jordan-Hare Stadium. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WarEagle?src=hash">#WarEagle</a> <a href="http://t.co/jwRjXvQRZx">pic.twitter.com/jwRjXvQRZx</a></p>— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) <a href="https://twitter.com/AuburnTigers/status/613140575022415872">June 23, 2015</a></blockquote>
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I hope the ad space really is as small and unobtrusive as this rendering makes it out to be. That would be fantastic.
The North End-Zone
We know how construction is going on those projects, though. What's still hanging out there are the plans for the north end-zone. Back in January we detailed a survey sent out to gauge what the fans wanted from the north end-zone upgrades.
Well, last week it came out that Jay Jacobs has sent the architectural firm "back to the drawing board" on those upgrades. I can't say that I'm too upset with that, really. I was never very impressed with the plans in that January article.
It appears some of the hang-ups include ensuring you can still easily travel from the west side of the stadium to the east side of the stadium around the north end-zone. AuburnSports.com had a copy of parts of the plans that have now been rejected back in March. I don't so much mind the tiered structure of the end-zone seating, but I'm not a fan of the field-level standing room portion.
The Auburn Villager has a bit more information in their article on the subject of the north end-zone. According to their piece, Auburn is likely going to have to go Kyle Field Level of Destruction* on the current structure in order to complete the renovations.
Another interesting tidbit to come out of that article is the possibility of another MOTHRATRON in the north end-zone. If that happens, there will be no need for stadium lighting. The scoreboards will light the fields enough to play on. I'm a bigger fan of doing a smaller single board or two small boards in the corners of the north end-zone rather than adding another monstrosity.
The important thing for Auburn football fans is that the scoreboard and Toomer's Corner (and Samford Park by extension) will be complete before the first game of the season. However, the timeline for rolling the trees at Toomer's Corner is still at least a year off. It may be longer for the Magnolia tree once it is replaced in July.
The goal - as always - is to improve the fan experience at the games. I'm curious about just how things will go in terms of tailgating space, though. There's still other construction going on around campus that will continue over the next few years. The new College of Osteopathic Medicine building is almost complete (and annoys me to no end because of the asymmetrical front). After that, one of the RV parking lots (what we in ROTC refer to as "The Beach," from all the times the co-eds would go sun-bathe in the field) is destined to become a construction zone, soon. I was told the other day that at least part of the RV lot across from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is going to have something built on it, as well.
Gone are my college days when the same older couple would show up on Wednesday and park their RV across the street from the ROTC building. On-campus tailgating still exists, but it's much harder when you can't park on campus as easily and have to lug all of your stuff. If there's one area I'd like to see the school work on, it would be improving the tailgating experience for the average fan and not just those who get one of those Tailgate Guys tents.
Oh, and Parker Hall? Parker Hall is STILL THERE.
Auburn students have been attempting to flee Parker Hall for over 50 years, it seems. https://t.co/tuDSJeYiyz— College & Magnolia (@CollegeAndMag) June 23, 2015
So what are y'all's thoughts on the renovations and plans? Sound off below!
*I love that .gif so much.