Auburn trustees approve $13.9 million scoreboard

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) Auburn will have a new scoreboard at Jordan-Hare Stadium in place for next season.

University trustees approved the estimated $13.9 million project on Friday for what athletic director Jay Jacobs says will be the largest video board in college football.

The board in the South end zone will be about 200 feet wide and 57 feet tall. It's expected to be completed in August.

The screen itself will be about 190-by-57 feet. Trustees meeting at Auburn University Montgomery unanimously approved the project.

''We've held our season ticket prices down for four years, but this is going to be an enhancement that moms and dads are going to have to come to because their kids are going to want to see this video board, the biggest in college football,'' Jacobs said.

Jacobs said the video board is expected to cost $3.5 million with a ribbon board along the upper deck facade and upgraded public address system running about $3 million and construction costs of some $5 million.

''We have about $1 million in contingency there, so we built that in because of the speed we're trying to get done,'' Jacobs said..

The artist's rendering for the trustees showed Auburn leading rival Alabama 21-10.

Dan King, associate vice president for facilities, expressed confidence that the project would be completed before the season.

''This is probably one of those failure is not an option sort of projects,'' King told trustees.

It's likely just the first step toward upgrading the 87,451-seat stadium. Trustees cleared the athletic department to hire an architectural firm and construction manager to do preliminary design work on more stadium improvements, ranging from concessions to renovating the home locker room and recruiting areas.

King said it would likely go before the board at the April or June meeting.

He said the project would be done through two offseasons and one fall, possibly starting as soon as right after the 2015 season.

''What we suspect is that no later than the June board meeting we'll be able to come back and say, `This is what we can do, this is what our fans want, this is how much it's going to cost, and this is when we can start.''' Jacobs said.

Trustees also approved the constructing of a walkway flanked by 30 descendants of the original oak trees at Toomer's corner, where two iconic oaks have been removed after the soil was poisoned by an Alabama fan.

The subsequent project will cost an estimated $900,000 with the walkway expected to be done by the summer with the trees planted in February 2016.

Two live oaks will be planted at an event this Feb. 14.

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