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New dining hall offers more options
By Ashley Cole News Editor
August 30, 2012
Students returned this semester to a newly renovated dining hall complete with all-new food options.
Even with the addition of four new restaurants, seating in the dining hall is "virtually the same," Halcombe said. While the traditional square table and chairs still remain, there are also circular bar-style tables and chairs as well as cushioned booths.
Construction on the dining hall began May 7, just two days after commencement.
"Demolition was the first phase, and we were on a 90-day timetable, which was pretty aggressive," Halcombe said.
During the renovation, workers ran into a delay that wasn't related to construction but affected it for about a week and a half, Halcombe added.
This delay caused the cafeteria's opening to be pushed back to Aug. 16. This meant students had to be served outside of the dining hall.
"We couldn't provide the same things that we had liked to. We couldn't cook to order, and we had to scale down the deli and salad bars," Halcombe said. "There for a period of time we were actually serving in two locations (UC Lounge and Annex) which made it quite challenging."
According to Halcombe, the reaction has been positive.
"It's been amazing," Halcombe said. "Dr. Carter and Mrs. Carter were in here Thursday evening talking with students. I've been talking with our team and just great reviews from everyone."
In addition to the new dining hall, students returned to a Papa John's and Einstein Bros. Bagels in the new Health Sciences Building.
In deciding which restaurants would be located in the building, Halcombe and his team went through about four different versions of what they wanted to offer.
They conducted focus groups and analyzed students' purchasing habits to get an idea of what is popular.
"The feedback's been good," Halcombe said. "We're a few days into it, but everything has been very well received."
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