Major Renovation for Student Union to Add Amenities for Fall

By Bob Romantic
GCU News Bureau

There’s a giant hole in the center of the Student Union. Food stations and seats are piled up on the back patio. And yellow construction tape abounds.

In other words, renovation has begun quickly at GCU’s main dining establishment, less than a week after the Class of 2012 left campus.

Over the next three months, the building will be transformed into a more up-to-date food service area with new amenities, better traffic flow and about 300 additional seats to accommodate the influx of 1,700 more students expected in the fall.

We got a sneak peek at what students, faculty and staff can expect when the Student Union reopens in mid-August.

In the southwestern corner (where the Spiritual Life offices used to be located), a new “360 Grill” will be added. The grill will be surrounded by seating areas and will offer traditional burgers, chicken and the like, as well as a new made-to-order Mongolian grill type of setup in which patrons can create their own stir-fry. The grill also can switch to a breakfast setup in the morning for made-to-order burritos or omelets.

A new drink station in the southwestern corner will feature a “freestyle” machine that offers 125 flavors of beverages.

In the southeastern corner (where Student Life and Career Services offices had been located), a yogurt and dessert station will be created and a larger dish drop-off section added. Part of the old office space also will be used to expand the kitchen, and a catering prep area will be moved to the current dish drop-off location.

In the center of the building (taking up that big hole in the concrete), there will be a salad and deli bar surrounded by bar seating as well as booths and tables.

The idea is to create more food islands and relieve the congestion that occurred with all of the food service stations in one place. More vegan and gluten-free options also will be added to the menu.

“I think it’s going to be great,” said Kristen Fraley, food service manager for GCU. “It will give kids a lot more variety.

“It will be a lot bigger and produce more food with less waiting.”

About  1,000 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) were purchased per day during the past school year – a figure Fraley expects to double in the fall.

Renovations are expected to be completed by Aug. 15, about a week before students begin returning to campus.

Contact Bob Romantic at 639.7611 or [email protected].

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GCU Magazine

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