Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bid approved for new arena

This from Auburn University athletics media relations:


AUBURN—Harbert International has won the construction bid for Auburn’s new $92.5 million basketball arena, announced Athletics Director Jay Jacobs Thursday.

Harbert’s base bid of $59.7 million, which came under budget during the bid opening on June 3, will cover the cost of the primary construction. With the addition of alternates to the base bid, the final construction bid came in at $60.4 million, $9.1 million under the base construction cost of $69.5 million.

In June 2007, the Auburn Board of Trustees approved a total project budget of $92.5 million with an approved base construction budget of $69.5 million.

“This is a very exciting time for our student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans, as another piece to the puzzle has been completed as we move forward with our arena project,” said Jacobs. “A project like this doesn’t come about without a united effort and common goal of countless people. We’re going to have the ability to build a first-class facility that will be within budget.”

Groundbreaking for the new arena will occur in the summer of 2008 with the facility opening prior to the 2010-11 season.

“Our fund raising efforts have been outstanding, and we are very appreciative of the Board of Trustees and President Gogue for their vision and leadership,” Jacobs said. “A lot of people have played akey role in this project, and it wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of John Mouton, Don Large and the President’s office. Jeff Steele, along with the construction management team of Robins & Morton, have been tremendous assets along the way."

The arena, with an approximate capacity of 9,600, will include over 29,000 square feet of student-athlete space, a two-court practice facility, coaches’ offices, the Auburn University Athletic Ticket Office, an AU Team Store, the relocated Lovelace Museum, two food courts along with many other amenities.

“With the current state of the market and economy, we feel very happy with where we are with this project,” said Jeff Steele, Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations. "We believe the uniquely Auburn design of this arena, will provide our students, student-athletes and coaches with a facility among the nation’s best."

360 Architecture of Kansas City, Mo., has been working with Davis Architects of Birmingham on the design of the arena. The firm of Robins & Morton of Birmingham, Ala., will serve as construction manager.

“This is very exciting news to know that we are one big step further along in the process for the new arena,” said Jeff Lebo, Auburn men’s basketball coach. “This is the final hurdle in the start of the construction. The new arena is something that all Auburn people can be proud of. This is going to be a first-class facility, and the Auburn Administration has made a huge commitment to the future.”

“It is exciting to know that the bid process has been completed and now we can begin to see shovels in the ground,” said Nell Fortner, Auburn women’s basketball coach. “We are ready and excited to get this arena project moving and are very thankful for the hard work the administration has put forth."

The 243,792-square-foot facility will be built on campus north and west of the existing Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum on Roosevelt Drive, across the street from the Student Activities Center parking lot.

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