After the recent transition into the new food services operation on campus, renovations in the Upper Deck area of the Campus Center and The Pub on North Campus are nearly complete.
Changes to the food services on campus began on Aug. 29, which included extended hours in the Great Room (now open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) instead of only for certain time frames throughout the day. In addition to the Great Room’s hours and meal plan options, other new changes include the closing of the Green Bean Café in Goodpaster Hall, the closing of the Upper Deck — both Quizno’s and The Grill — and the extension of The Pub services and hours.
Since the Upper Deck services have discontinued in May, renovations have been underway to convert the space into additional Great Room seating. As pictured, the new space will consist of overflow seating, a demo station for Big T. where Quizno’s once was, and a new prep and storage room where The Grill used to be.
In addition to the new seating, the space will be utilized as a study, club meeting and programming area after the Great Room closes daily at 8:30 p.m., according to Director of Residence Life Joanne Goldwater. Community members will be able to gain access to the space through two doors accessible from the Upper Deck hallway.
As to when the space will open, “the projected date is some time in the last week of September,” said Bon Appetit General Manager David Sansotta. According to Sansotta, the goal is to have the space open for Family Weekend at Hawktoberfest, which is scheduled for Oct. 4-6.
The Pub, which opened on Monday, is now open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The Pub has absorbed the services of The Green Bean Café and the Grab n’ Go, and it will now serve coffee, snacks, and regular Grab n’ Go items in addition to its normal menu. Grab n’ Go services will be available everyday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., coffee and snacks during all operating hours, and regular cook to order menu items from 5 to 10 p.m. everyday and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Though the cook to order menu has not expanded since the recent changes have been made, eventually new menu items such as various hot sandwiches will eventually become available, according to Sansotta.
All of these changes came into focus when the College developed a Food Master Plan in 2012 in accordance to the Campus Master Plan that will be completed over the next 15 years. In June, when the College renewed their food services contract with Bon Appetit, Procurement Officer Pat Hunt began to work with the company’s architect to plan out how the changed spaces like The Pub and Upper Deck would be best utilized and designed.
Goldwater was on the original food master plan committee along with other staff members like Hunt, Vice President for Business and Finance Chip Jackson, and Assistant Vice President for Finance Chris True. According to her, her position on the committee was “being an advocate for the students.” Both Goldwater and Jackson presented ideas and took input at numerous Student Government Association (SGA) meetings last year, and final changes were proposed to the community in the spring. The opening of The Pub and Upper Deck will be the final implementations of the food service changes on campus.
In regards to the food service changes as a whole, both Sansotta and Goldwater have reported positive feedback from students. “I’ve gotten a little bit of feedback, and the students are happy,” claimed Goldwater. “They seem to be enjoying the anytime dining plans. I’m sad that we couldn’t have the Upper Deck and The Pub open at the start of the year, but things happen.”
“Everybody’s been loving it,” said Sansotta. “We’ve also noticed on Tuesdays and Thursdays that we’ve had a nice crowd around 2 or 3 o’clock.”
Hunt also added that Bon Appetit and the College’s food service committee members will monitor the flow of traffic in The Pub and Great Room and continue to welcome feedback throughout the year.