The University of Dallas plans to expand dining options by relocating the bookstore and removing office space to create a new lounge and dining area in Haggar.
This plan is only tentative and all details are subject to change until the contracts with Aramark and Follett are signed, which Executive Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Dr. John Plotts hopes will occur by Spring break.
If the contracts move forward, then construction could take place this summer, Plotts said. Otherwise it will be pushed off until next summer.
As it is, the plan moves the bookstore to what is currently the Rathskellar seating area, which will be remodeled. The cash register area in the Rathskellar will become office space, with walls around the kitchen.
Much of the office space between the Cap bar and the Campus Safety offices will be knocked down to create an open lounge space.
The Cap Bar will also be relocated to take advantage of the patio above the current Rathskellar, and Plotts said that UD may eventually add a covering and ceiling fans to the outside patio.
The plan for the dining area will include an open kitchen concept with eat-in and take-out options, as well as a food market and lounge in the center. This will be “a big open space” where “students can gather and hang out,” Plotts said. The changes provide students with more food options, Plotts added.
Before making these plans, Aramark sent out a survey to get student input on different styles of dining like Chick-Fil-A, Subway, or Freshens, but 67 percent of students preferred a “Craft Concept.”
“[A Craft Concept is] not a name brand, [but] a more local flavor,” Plotts said. “Our students aren’t really conventional. … The uniqueness of it makes sense with the culture.”
“Having options was very important to everybody [who took the survey],” Plotts said. “But so was guacamole.”
Plotts is concerned that the bookstore will become smaller but he hopes to address this issue by working with Follett to create more online options.
Anita Johnson, the bookstore manager, said that one benefit for the bookstore is that it will be easier to shelve books because they won’t have to be brought up a level from the loading dock.
“We won’t have as much space as we currently have, which will force us to reorganize,” Johnson said.
Rather than organizing books by course and section, Johnson plans to organize them alphabetically by author.
For now, the only definitive Haggar remodel is the addition of another entrance on the side of the J.M. Haggar University Center facing Cardinal Farrell Hall. This will create a main entry into campus with a pathway coming straight from the parking lot into Haggar.
Construction will occur over Spring break.
Aramark will provide concept art of the plan after the contract is signed, according to Plotts.