Auburn University athletics is moving closer to a having a new football operations building.
University President Steven Leath agreed Friday during the university’s board of trustees meeting to form a working group to specifically focus on the construction plans and cost for a new football operations building.
The facility likely would house a locker room, weight room, team meeting room, position meeting rooms, a student-athlete lounge, an athletic training room, a nutrition and fueling area, and coaches’ offices.
It also would include the movement of the football team’s operations out of the current athletics complex, which was built in 1989, and free up space within the complex for athletics department personnel that now is housed in Beard-Eaves Coliseum.
The movement is a continuing effort to move personnel out of the coliseum, built in 1969, as the university’s campus continues to expand and undergo renovation.
The proposal made Friday by Executive Committee chairman Charles McCrary urged Leath to form a committee to review the plans.
“It’s my sense of the board that everybody on the board agrees that we need to build that building,” McCrary said. “Mr. President, I would recommend that you, sir, that you would put together a working group, post haste of whoever you so decide, so that they can focus and determine what’s in the building, what we want in the building and how much it’s going to cost, an idea of how much it’s going to cost.
"And then, raise the money. We need to do this. We all agree we need to do it. We need to raise the money and we need to get on with it so we can support Auburn, our dean, and our coach.”
Head football coach Gus Malzahn echoed the sentiment during Friday’s meeting.
“Dr. Leath, board of trustees, I really appreciate your support,” Malzahn said. “The project is not just big now, current, but more important for the future. It will allow us to continue to have a good chance to compete for a championship.
"This is really big. I really appreciate everyone’s support.”
Malzahn and his wife, Kristi, previously committed a $2 million donation toward the future construction of the project.
Leath agreed to the proposal to form a review group.
The construction of a football operations building initially was proposed by Auburn University athletics director Allen Greene in September 2018.
There is no timetable as of now for when the project will be presented as a formal plan to the board.