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Auburn makes changes for gameday Saturdays

Auburn University is implementing changes to parking, safety and tailgating procedures for game-day activities on campus beginning with the 2002 football season.

Included in the plan is the development of parking lots for RVs and vehicles, adding more than 1,650 parking spaces on campus.

Detailed information on the changes can be found on the university's web site at www.auburn.edu.

The changes are rooted in the terrorist attacks on the United States, past incidents of damage to university buildings and property and the preservation of the campus's landscape and heritage.

The terrorist attacks prompted the nation's insurance industry to identify NCAA I-A football institutions as being at a higher risk. The industry now requires universities to develop detailed information on disaster preparedness, the ability to respond and measures for controlling loss.

University officials are also concerned about incidents on previous football weekends when campus buildings were vandalized and student work, university equipment and research were destroyed. Safeguarding areas of campus for future generations is also a consideration.

The additional parking lots and a more organized parking system will implement several campus security and safety initiatives, including maintaining access for emergency vehicles and personnel, providing accessibility in accordance with the American Disabilities Act, protecting university utility systems and protecting the university's research projects and student work.

The university plans to make the following changes beginning with AU's first home football game Sept. 7:

Provide six organized parking areas for vehicles, with two specifically designed for RVs. A shuttle service to and from the stadium will be established for fans who park on South Donahue Drive in the area of the Ham Wilson Arena.

Create an RV-free zone in the central part of campus bounded by Magnolia Avenue, College Street, Samford Avenue and Donahue Drive. This zone will create additional areas for tailgating and parking in the core part of campus.

Prohibit the use of stakes, ropes, ribbons or other measures to mark off individual tailgating areas until after 4 p.m. the day before game day. No one will be authorized to reserve parking spaces for themselves or others.

Create vehicle-free green spaces for picnicking and tailgating on some lawn areas. The university will provide picnic tables and benches in Graves Amphitheatre, Cary Hall lawn and Cater Hall lawn.

Also, new parking areas being developed will provide spaces for approximately 175 RVs and more than 1,500 spaces for automobiles, SUVs and other vehicles -- several times more than the estimated 300 spaces being lost by eliminating parking in some green areas. New parking areas include:

A horseshoe-shaped area behind the Nichols ROTC Center and Wallace Center (designated for RVs);

An area behind the Max Morris Drill Field area (designated for RVs); and

Four areas on Donahue Drive near the Ham Wilson Arena (designated for all vehicles).

Other improvements include hot-charcoal containers for fan use and nine high-quality modular restrooms to be placed strategically around campus. These restrooms will be connected to the campus electrical, sewer and water systems.