In a decade, on-campus dining could consist of several large dining halls instead of smaller, scattered cafeterias.
Administrators say those dining halls will likely offer more upscale, marketplace-style options.
Starting with the opening of the Hill Dining Center next year, the University’s Residential Dining Services plans to introduce marketplace-style dining into one, large dining hall each on the Hill, Central and North Campuses, according to Christine Siegel, the senior associate director of Housing Services. After the Hill Dining Center is finished, the University will close the dining halls in Stockwell, Couzens and Alice Lloyd.
That sort of consolidation could happen in other campus neighborhoods, Siegel said.
Although it has no concrete plans, the University could end up creating a large marketplace-style dining center to serve both South and West Quads, Siegel said.
Siegel said the University would work to make sure that there is a dining hall within a five-minute walk of every residence hall.
The changes are part of a multi-phase plan to modernize campus dining that grew out of University President Mary Sue Coleman’s residential life initiatives, which she announced in 2004.
According to Michael Lee, the director of Residential Dining Services, the marketplace eateries will have more open floor plans than older dining halls like East Quad and Couzens. They’ll also include more features like those being included in the Hill Dining Center, an international food station, stone pizza ovens and a soup, salad and deli bar.
The new dining system will also feature some smaller operations, like Bursley’s The Blue Apple Emporium, a convenience store. Lee said the Hill Dining Center’s retail store will sell more food made-to-order, and that cooks will prepare some food right in front of students.
A marketplace-style dining hall will be in place at North Quad when the new residence hall opens. The opening is planned for 2010.
Siegel also said a survey of students influenced the changes the University is making in the dining system.
Siegel said students filled out dining service surveys and that students wanted more quality, variety and hours of service.
Some students maintained that a five-minute walk may be a point of contention, too.
“It’s more convenient to have a cafeteria in your residence hall than to walk out in god-knows-what conditions to a centralized location,” Engineering freshman Sarvesh Ramprakash said. “When you’re rolling out of bed, it’s a lot more convenient to go downstairs in your residence hall.”
LSA freshman Joana Coffy said it’s inconvenient to walk from her dorm room in Fletcher Hall, which doesn’t have a dining hall, to South Quad, which does.