At its September meeting, the Auburn University Board of Trustees agreed to designate 16 acres of campus space for the creation of the College of Agriculture’s Transformation Garden.
The garden, which will be located between Lem Morrison Drive and Woodfield Drive, will serve as teaching and outreach space for the college. Students will be able to utilize the space to gain hands-on experience with the latest industry practices, and research faculty will be able to tackle key challenges. The garden can also be a production facility for Auburn’s Campus Dining program.
“Dean Paul Patterson and Provost Bill Hardgrave have provided encouraging support and leadership so that this proposal could be brought to the Board of Trustees for consideration,” said Desmond Layne, head of the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture. “We are profoundly grateful for this vital support and investment as we seek to have this dream realized for the benefit of Auburn students, faculty, staff and our greater community. We are one giant step closer.”
The Transformation Garden will be developed in numerous phases over the next several years. Facilities Management is now authorized to begin the architect selection process.
The board also accepted a plan to support the garden project. By extending Duncan Drive between Lem Morrison and Woodfield, the garden can be established along the east side of the new stretch of Duncan, connecting the Davis Arboretum to the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center.
The road expansion and infrastructure project calls for creating a two-lane campus road with bicycle lanes, sidewalks, street lighting, overhead power, storm sewer and domestic water lines. It also involves site grading, stormwater management and installation of utilities infrastructure to support the adjacent Transformation Garden.
A community greenway path, to be situated among the gardens, would also connect the arboretum and the performing arts center and allow for future connections to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and the City of Auburn’s Town Creek Park.
To facilitate an accelerated design process, Facilities Management recommended LBYD Engineers of Birmingham, Alabama, as the project engineer. The firm has designed several Auburn facilities and infrastructure projects and has worked on the initial planning efforts for this project.