Auburn University Approves Plan for Toomer's Corner Makeover


By Brittany Bivins

Auburn's famous Toomer's Corner will soon be getting a major makeover. On Friday, Auburn University's Board of Trustees voted to approve a plan to revitalize the area and replant trees that were cut down after being poisoned in 2010.

According to the plans, the university will remove the toxic soil, build a C-shaped central wall where people can sit and gather, and replant Toomer's Oaks.

At Friday's meeting at Auburn University in Montgomery, board members took a vote on the $900,000 proposal.

It passed unanimously.

"It's been kind of dreary without having trees there the past year, but we're very excited. We've enjoyed the wires this year, but you know, looking forward to getting it all back to how we're used to rolling," said Amy Douglas, who works at Auburn.

But that will take awhile. The university can't plant two new oaks for at least one year.

"We need to do what's called root pruning on the trees that we want to plant there, so they have a bigger root ball and they have a greater chance of survival once we transplant them," said Dan King, the Assistant Vice President of Facilities.

Even once they're planted, it could be years before fans can roll them after a Tiger win.

"The stress of rolling isn't good for the trees, and so even when we plant the trees, those are not going to be ready to be rolled for quite awhile."

Still, Auburn fans say the plans are on the right track.

"If it looks better, then it attracts people to come back. But if it's dead, it does, it leaves that sad feeling, they're not going to want to be, you know, bothered with that," said Max Kimbrough.

"It's a place of big tradition. You know, after every game it's customary to go out there, hang out, have a good time, show your spirit, and so-it's a really good idea," said Alonzo Thomas.

Some Auburn fans say it's worth the wait to get their game day tradition back.

"It's going to be awesome. It's going to rebuild our community and have that awesome spirit back into Auburn," said Megan Moody, an Auburn fan.

This is the first phase of a 2-part plan for Toomer's Corner. University officials say the second phase could include a tree-lined walkway from the corner to Samford Lawn, but none of those plans are official yet.

The project's $900,000 price tag includes the new construction and replanting two oak trees.

That money will come from the university's general fund.