University Commons Renovation

Commons to get completely remodeled

By Kim Bigelow | 02/06/14 | Updated 02/06/14 | Posted in News, Campus News

The University Commons was built in 1970, making it 44 years old. With more evening classes and a greater population of students today, the University is looking to completely renovate the building, allowing for more space, different meal options, and a more satisfying dining experience.

University president Walter Harrison said, "We'd increase the numbers of seats, we'd increase the numbers of choices, and we'd design it in a way that the Commons would be open from seven in the morning until ten ten thirty at night. And you could go any whenever it fit your schedule."

The University Commons will have an entirely new layout, bringing it up to date with other college dining halls around the country.

Resident District Manager Bridgett Stapleton of Dining Services said, "It'll be what we call our fresh food concept. So most of the production, the kitchen, is going to be shrunk, more or less, by about seventy-five percent. So we bring all that production out into the dining room and the server area so students can tend food, you know, to the way they like it and see the food being cooked and prepared in front of them."

Concerns of asbestos in the cooking areas will be eliminated, further improving the safety of the building.

On the topic of asbestos, Assistant Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management said, "We'll have to make some disturbances. We'll have to do some penetrations for piping for duct work and once you do that you disturb the sprayed-on fireproofing, which is perfectly safe and okay to have until you disturb it, you don't want to do that. So we have to remove all of that. And the good news about that though is that, well, number one we don't have to worry about it anymore because it'll be gone but we're also gonna sprinkler the whole building."

The plan is to shut down Hawk's Nest after spring break and extend hours at either Commons or the deli and Taco Bell in the Village Market.

One design that has been revealed is a sawtooth window on the wall closest to D complex, but the complete plans will be posted around campus in a few weeks.

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