AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - The Auburn Board of Trustees has voted to add to the number of intramural fields at Auburn. 

At its meeting on Friday, the Trustees approved the purchase of two parcels of land totaling 177 acres adjacent to campus on West Longleaf Drive in order to provide expanded field labs for the College of Agriculture and College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, the acquisition will allow for the construction of new recreation fields for both intramural and club sports.

Funds to purchase the land will be allocated from Campus Recreation, College of Veterinary Medicine and unrestricted university funds.

Currently, field labs for beef, horse, swine and turf grass are located on both sides of Shug Jordan Parkway between Wire Road and South College Street. The approved land purchase is adjacent to these field labs just north of West Longleaf Drive.

Dan King, associate vice president of Facilities Management, said it’s been a longstanding goal of the university to expand recreational fields on campus, but it has been hindered by lack of available land.

With the West Longleaf Drive land, the current field labs can expand into it and the area behind the fraternity houses on Lem Morrison Drive becomes an ideal location for new recreational fields.

The existing Intramural Field was built in 1979 when approximately 18,000 students attended Auburn. With Auburn’s student population exceeding 28,000, there is a need for more outdoor recreational venues.

The board also decided to initiate a project to construct a new complex for intramural and club sports including new softball and multi-use fields for lacrosse, soccer and rugby. Facilities Management will now begin the search for an architect.

The new fields are expected to cost about $12 million and will be paid for with Campus Recreation funds.

In his remarks to the board, President Steven Leath recognized Athletics Director Jay Jacobs, who is leaving Auburn this summer, as well as former Provost Tim Boosinger and his wife, Marcia Boosinger, who retired from the university in January after a combined 67 years of service to Auburn.

Leath also announced the hiring of Aramark to provide food services across campus, including athletics. The new partnership begins May 7.