Cafe to undergo $12 million renovation

By on April 9, 2008

Quinnipiac will be going under the knife this May.

“This project will affect everyone,” Joe Rubertone said at last week’s SGA meeting. “It is like open heart surgery.”

The Mt. Carmel campus will be undergoing a facelift when construction begins on the new “East Edition” wing of the cafeteria following next month’s commencement. This will kick off what will be a $12 million project to revamp the cafeteria.

The new wing of the cafeteria will be built on the land of grass that currently sits between the current cafeteria and Bobcat Way. It is expected to be complete by May of 2009, and will open the following August.

While the new wing of the cafeteria will be built, students will continue to eat in the current cafeteria.

When the East wing is completed, the structure of the current cafeteria will be demolished and re-built to fit more tables for students. Original plans had students eating in a temporary tent outside of the cafeteria, but those plans were scrapped when the new East wing came into play. Beginning in the Fall of 2009 students will eat in the newly built East wing of the cafeteria while construction carries on for the re-building of what is now the current cafeteria. Because of the construction that would be going on at the current cafeteria site, the entrance will also be the exit of the new wing.

“It will take daily attention to minimize the flow of students (coming in and out of the new wing),” Rubertone said.

The completed cafeteria will boast almost double the amount of serving area size, and two stories of seating. According to Rubertone there may be a “late night component” to the new cafeteria in 2010, meaning that it may open later than it’s current closing time of 8 p.m. The serving stations will be more spread out to avoid long lines and to free up space for people to move around at the busiest times of the day. The current serving area in the cafeteria will be extended past the cash registers all the way to the large window that faces Bobcat Way (which currently serves as seating area)when the new building opens.

The new complete cafeteria will add between 500 and 600 seats and is expected to be opened by the Fall of 2010.

“We have looked at this for the last 3 years now,” Rubertone said. “We’re pretty confident we can get this done in the timeframe we have scheduled.”

During the construction of the current cafeteria in the Fall of 2009 and Spring of 2010, the entrance to Tator Hall will be off-limits, as it will be in the construction zone. Students will need to enter Tator Hall through the Alumni Hall entrance while the Tator Hall entrance is blocked off. Some mailboxes in the student center will be off limits as well, but according to Rubertone, there are plans to create a pick-up window for those people who have mailboxes in the construction zone.

“The worst-case scenario is for the construction area to extend out to the walkway in the center of the quad leading up to the library,” Rubertone said.

Rubertone sympathized with the audience at the SGA meeting saying that a majority of the construction will be “inconvenient” for students, but should not disrupt their education or put them in harms way.

“You will be cursing us in the meantime, but it will be great for the institution,” Rubertone said.

Facilities have plans to create walkways in the quad area to get around the construction area in a safe matter.

“It may look like you are walking in New York for a while, under the scaffolding they have in construction areas,” Rubertone said.

There are currently three undisclosed firms bidding to do the construction on the cafeteria.

Construction on the cafeteria will not be the only thing students return to in the Fall of 2008 – Bobcat Way, also known as “Dorm Road,” will be made wider and will be completely re-paved.

Bobcat Way, which has not gone under major renovation since 1984, will undergo construction beginning next month and is expected to be complete by August.

In some areas of Bobcat Way the street will be widened up to six feet. After Bobcat Way is re-done there will be 20 parking spaces next to the dorms meant for temporary parking to unload luggage. The road will be widened where it can all the way up to the Troupe dormitory area; from that point on the street will not become wider, but will be re-paved.

However, the most noticeable difference to the street will be the Bobcat statue that will stand in between the Larson and Perlroth dormitories. The statue is an exact replica of the current statue that sits in front of the TD Banknorth Sports Center on the York Hill Campus.

According to Rubertone the road will “be more pedestrian friendly,” and will be “nicely landscaped.” Plans to make the road more school spirit oriented include a permanent structure to hold a banner to promote school spirit and upcoming events.

Rubertone stated at last week’s SGA meeting that construction plans regarding the student center will soon be unveiled to the student body. He did however mention that the student center will not be worked on until the cafeteria project is completed; slated for Fall of 2010.


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