Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Commons and Hawks Nest to get a face lift and new meal plans for 2014-15

The University and Dining Services announce renovations to Commons and Hawks Nest, as well as new meal plans to be offered for the 2014-15 year.

Dining Services is shelling out $7 to $10 million on the project, according to Bridgett Stapleton, the resident director for ARAMARK.

Hawks Nest and the lower level of Commons will close on Friday, March 14 for the semester to begin the construction process. Hawks Nest will get new modern finishes and a fireplace will be added.

 Meals similar to the Hawks Nest menu will be available in Commons between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays.

Construction in the Commons dining hall will begin on May 15 and are due to be finished by mid-August.
Commons will have new design finishes to the seating and equipment and a brick oven will be built.

There will be more seating available to accommodate the 2,500 students served daily. The plan also includes a private dining area available to the student body.

Other changes to Commons will include, students being be able to watch the chef prepare their meals in front of them and the “back of the house” kitchen area will be reduced to provide for a larger serving area and guest seating.

An allergen-free zone and pantry will be built for those with special diets as well as an expanded bakery and kosher kitchen.

Beginning in the fall, Commons will also extend their hours to 8pm Monday through Friday and 7 p.m. on the weekend.

The changes to the meal plan will feature new All-Access Plans and Block Plans. All-Access Plans give students to enter Commons as many times as they would like, while block plans will provide students with 200 or 100 meals per semester. Students will still have the option to pay with dining dollars instead.
 Stapleton also said that students influenced their decision to change meal plans.

“As a result of numerous focus groups conducted last year,” said Stapleton. “We found that students want more flexibility with how meals are used and do not want to waste meals they cannot eat. The block plans allow students to use the meals when they need them.

“All-access plans are rather new to higher education. Many schools now offer this option. It is especially good for students transitioning to the college lifestyle.”

A Subway will also be built on campus, sometime this summer or next year, the date has not yet been confirmed because of the amount of other projects being taken on.

A fully licensed Starbucks that will have the entire menu and allow for students to use gift cards from chain restaurants will be installed in the library during the summer of 2015.


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