Shaw Hall offers incentives during cafeteria renovations

Most students would be bothered trekking across campus to eat their meals for a semester, but general management freshman Erin Murphy doesn’t mind at all. In fact, she’s enthusiastic about the positive changes that will accompany the Shaw Hall cafeteria renovations.

“I’m actually excited for the free bus pass and the extra Combo-X-Changes,” Murphy said. “It definitely makes up for (not being able to eat in the cafeteria for the semester).”

Murphy is one of the many Shaw Hall residents who will have to find a new place to eat for a semester when the renovations to the cafeteria are under way.

The $13.95 million renovations, which were approved by the Board of Trustees at their October 2011 meeting, will begin at the end of the spring semester and are expected to be completed by December. The cafeteria will be closed during construction.

The new cafeteria will feature three new dining stations, each with a different theme, said Vennie Gore, assistant vice president for Residential and Hospitality Services.

The themes include comfort food, Asian cuisine and a grill area.

“It’s set up so it will feel like three separate restaurants in one location,” Gore said. And although Murphy isn’t worried about having a place to eat during the construction period, Director of Culinary Services Guy Procopio said there are plenty of options for students who are.

During the fall semester, Shaw Hall residents will be offered carryout food in a transitional snack room in the lower level of the building. Food such as sandwiches, salads, cereal and a variety of snacks will be available. Residents also will receive a free CATA bus pass so they can eat at other dining locations across campus and an additional two Combo-X-Changes, giving them a total of three Combo-X-Changes per day.

“It wasn’t a problem in South Pointe and it wasn’t a problem in Brody,” Procopio said. “Unlike Case Hall, we don’t have residential dining fairly close, so that’s why we’re offering additional services such as bus passes and Combo-X-Changes. But I think students are appreciative of the newly renovated space once it opens.”

Gore said the Shaw Hall cafeteria will be different than the other newly renovated cafeterias because of its smaller, more intimate feel. And students such as Murphy are excited to see the finished product.

“I hear it’s supposed to be really nice and really convenient,” she said.

“I think that they’re going to optimize the space a lot better.”

The new cafeteria also will be the second cafeteria on campus along with Yakeley Hall cafeteria to become trayless after the renovation is complete.

Procopio said Shaw Hall was chosen to undergo renovations because of its age and central location, particularly its proximity to a number of academic buildings south of Shaw Hall.

He also confirmed plans to go forward with renovations for the Landon Hall cafeteria in West Circle Neighborhood, which he said will begin in the spring of 2013. The last major dining renovation after Landon will be something in East Neighborhood, most likely Akers Hall, he said.

“We’re excited about moving forward with Shaw and completing our dining master plan with East,” Procopio said.

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