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Auburn recreates landmark ice cream shop
JIM LITTLE, Opelika-Auburn News
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn alumni tailgaters will get a chance to relive a memory of an old Auburn icon - Sani-Freeze ice cream.
A building resembling the old ice cream shop, popularly known as "Sani-Flush" or "The Flush," has been constructed at the Auburn Alumni Center and will serve ice cream from Opelika's O-Town Ice Cream.
The new building was created by the Auburn Alumni Association and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the replica at the Alumni Center on Tuesday, with members of the Hunt family -- the owners of the old Sani-Freeze -- in attendance.
"I graduated in 1986, you can do the math, but one of my first visits when I was a young new student and newlywed was to the Sani-Freeze," said Gretchen VanValkenburg, vice president of alumni affairs and executive director of the Auburn Alumni Association. "And so this has special meaning to me personally, and I know it does to a lot of our alumni."
Sani-Freeze closed its original location in 1993. The building was torn down to build an AmSouth Bank. Berney Office Solutions now occupies the location.
Cheri Hunt Russell and Mary Hunt Hayes, daughters of the late owner of Sani-Freeze, Bennie Hunt, said their father would be happy that people still remember the Sani-Freeze.
"He was a humble person, and he was just trying to earn a living," Hayes said.
Mike Hosey, professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science, oversaw the students who built the replica, and said most of his students were born after 1995.
"(The students) are going home and they're telling their parents and their aunts and uncles about it," Hosey said. "And their parents, aunts and uncles are jumping up and down. They're just so excited, and (the students) have never even heard of it."
Students building the project learned how much the ice cream shop meant to people in Auburn at the time.
"This was to a lot of people like Toomer's Corner," Hosey said. "It was an Auburn icon for the students and the community here."
Angela George, co-owner of O-Town Ice Cream, said the store would be creating special flavors in honor of Sani-Freeze.
"I think some people will be really excited about some of the names we have," George said. "We'll bring back that memory and that history, and the nostalgic feel that the Auburn experience actually is."
Information from: Opelika-Auburn News, http://www.oanow.com/
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