Dining hall renovations to start in May, finish in August
Starting in August, Georgia College students will have five different restaurant options to choose from following renovations to the Maxwell Student Union Dining Hall. The renovations will bring numerous changes in both décor and choice to the dining hall.
“Basically everything in the dining hall from the kitchen out to the University Banquet Room will be gutted and renovated…including Hoake (Dining Room), the dining area and seating,” said Executive Directory of Auxillary Services Kyle Cullars. “The biggest difference will be layout; instead of all dining areas together, they’re going to be spread out with seating in between them.”Georgia College will be following the Restaurant Collection by Sodexo, whose 10-year contract will begin May 1. In the Restaurant Collection, the dining hall’s serving stations will be split into five separate areas: The 360 Grill, Basic Kneads, The Wild Mushroom, Bella Trattoria and Flying Star Diner.
At the 360 Grill, students will be able to pick from a variety of foods accessible from all sides. Students can choose their own ingredients and watch the chef make a custom meal for them. The station will be the centerpiece of the new dining hall located approximately where the drink fountains are in the current layout.
Basic Kneads will be the name of a deli area with made-to-order sandwiches as well as soups, chips and dips. The station will be set up against the wall of the University Banquet Room.
The Wild Mushroom will offer made-to-order salads, sandwiches and vegetarian and vegan entrees. The Wild Mushroom is attached to the 360 Grill, facing Basic Kneads. According to Cullars, locally supplied fruits and vegetables will also be offered for students at The Wild Mushroom.
Pizza and pasta will be served at Bella Trattoria along with artisan bread. Bella Trattoria will take the place of the side drink fountain in the current layout.
The Flying Star Diner will provide many different foods from the grill along with all-day breakfast. The décor of the diner will be based off an old-fashioned eatery with tile floors and metallic finishes. The diner will be located where the current food stations are.
“At the five dining stations we’ll have daily specials already prepared, but at every station you can also customize,” Cullars said. “All of this is based on a survey of our students and their wants.”
Along with dining changes, the dining hall will see a large assortment of new seating options.
“(The seating) will be a good mix of booths and a few large tables, but primarily four-seat square tables…some two-seat tables and even some bar seats for individuals,” Cullars said. “The idea is to try and maximize that usage with the variety.”
Other changes include moving the entrance to the Hoake Dining Room and the opening of the University Banquet Room. According to the proposal by Sodexo, there will be an exit display that offers thought-provoking commentary on food and the environment because “today’s students are the most environmentally involved in history.”
The renovations will begin after graduation and are expected to be completed by the first week of August. According to Cullars, the estimated cost of the renovations will be around $3 million.
Auxiliary Services is currently exploring options for dining this Summer.
“We’re looking at the possibility of a (fully-enclosed) tent or tents as dining facilities…another option is open-air tents,” Cullars said. “Another alternative is we will use the University Banquet Room as much as we can because there’s not as much renovations there.”
According to Cullars, more of the on-campus retail options will be open during the Summer. Food for the summer camps and conferences will be given out at the Centennial Center instead of the dining hall.