Expansion of HUB dining area awaiting approval

Fast Facts:

Cost: $6.5 million Opening in Fall 2012 2 new food options 220 more seats

The HUB Dining Room is being expanded, adding an additional 220 seats.

Starting in July 2011 an additional 1,100 square feet of space will be added to the current HUB Dining Room.

Plans for the expansion are under consideration and awaiting the Broad of Trustee’s approval in April. The construction would start mid-July of this year. The process would take about nine months, however the new section of seating would not be available until fall of 2012.

The project will cost 6.5 million; about 3.5 million of that cost is construction and the other three million is for furniture and other expenses, said Steve Thompson, director of capital projects. The expansion of the HUB Dining Room has been planned for over two years but the construction of East Hall and the new Robinson Science Building took precedence. “Its been on the drawing board since before this year’s freshman class,” Thompson said.

The current Dining Room will be expanded to the north toward Arend Hall. Currently there is a lawn, but this will be replaced. The ground level will have high ceilings, and the second story will be a mezzanine level that will seat about 100 people. The design will have tall windows allowing for large amounts of natural light, Thompson said.

This new expansion will allow for two new food options. At this point Sodexo is leaning toward Italian and Asian venues, said Jim O’Brien, general manger of Sodexo.

The Italian option would include have brick oven pizzas and calzones and the Asian option will serve Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines.

With the addition of two new food options, the layout of the venues would shift. This would help alleviate the current crowds in the food service area of Sodexo.

Not only will there be more food choices but the new space will allow for more events, said Dayna Coleman Jones, assistant dean of students. Concerts can be held more easily in the main dining room. Because of the extra space students can still eat while an event is being set up without getting in the way.

“We’re excited,” O’Brien said.

By Caitlyn Starkey

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Spring 2011 Convocation