Auburn trustees approve Toomer's Corner makeover
AUBURN - Auburn is moving forward with plans for a makeover of Toomer's Corner that will include planting trees to replace the iconic oaks poisoned by a fan of rival Alabama.
The board of trustees gave the go-ahead Friday to initiate plans to redevelop the site that has long been the scene for victory celebrations. It was the first step in a project that is expected to cost from $1 million to $2 million, said Dan King, an assistant vice president for facilities.
Auburn fans will roll the two live oaks at Toomer's Corner for the final time after the Tigers' spring game on April 20, when a design concept will be unveiled. The live oaks will be removed three days later.
University of Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr. was sentenced to spend six months in jail and five years on supervised probation after pleading guilty in the poisoning of the trees.
King said trustees will consider architects in June and final approval of the plan at a later meeting. The project isn't scheduled to begin until after the football season.
Auburn University plans to turn portions of the poisoned oaks at Toomer's Corner into commemorative items, with sale proceeds helping fund scholarships.
The trees are expected to be replaced with either other live oaks or overcup oaks. The latter is a type of slow-growing white oak.