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Auburn Approves Indoor Practice Facility... FSU falls further behind in arms race with SEC

MONTGOMERY -- The Auburn Board of Trustees approved a $16.5 million indoor football practice facility Friday that will feature a much-needed 120-yard field. Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs The new facility will trump the current indoor facility that features a 40-yard field that often forces the offense and defense to take turns practicing in bad weather. 72 0 0 Share The 92,000 square-foot facility will also be available for soccer, baseball, softball and track to practice in bad weather. The proposal approved called the indoor facility to "designate as an expedited project." Construction will begin after the 2010 season. Auburn wants to open the facility before the 2011 season. "It's just another step in our master plan that we put together five years ago to compete at the highest level in all our sports," said Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs. The new facility will replace the John H. Watson Fieldhouse, which was dedicated in 1999. The new indoor facility will run the length of the main outdoor practice field. Both fields will run east-west, rather than theayout of the existing fields, which run north-south. The new practice layout will reduce the number of outdoor practice fields from three to two. The $16.5 million indoor facility is the biggest athletic expansion since the school built the $90 million Auburn Arena, which will open this basketball season; and follows the expansion of the track and soccer facilities. Part of the facility will be initially funded by a bond issue. The project will be entirely funded by the athletic department. With the opening of the Auburn Arena, the trustees were also told of a preliminary plan to demolish Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum and build a parking garage its place. Auburn approved Inifinity Architecture of Montgomery as the design consultants and Robins and Morton Construction of Birmingham as the construction manager. A $72 million student wellness center was also approved. It will be located near Beard-Eaves and the Auburn Arena. Construction will likely begin in a year with an opening two years later. SEC indoor facilities Alabama: 110-yard facility Arkansas: 100-yard facility. Auburn: New $16.5 million 120-yard facility approved. Currently 40-yard practice facility. Florida: None Georgia: Under construction Kentucky: 100-yard facility LSU: 100-yard facility Mississippi: 100-yard facility Mississippi State: 100-yard facility South Carolina: 60-yard facility. Tennessee: 70-yard facility; two full end zones; expansion approved Vanderbilt: None

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