By Brianne Valentine
KU began campus-wide renovations to the dining halls this past summer. The full plan includes updating the Cub Café in the McFarland Student Union Building, the Academic Forum and South Dining Hall.
According to Amanda Fretz, assistant director for Housing, Residence Life and Dining Services, the renovations will conclude in the fall of 2016.
The newly renovated Bear’s Den in the McFarland Student Union Building includes additional seating for students and faculty members. Starbucks was introduced in the Bear’s Den this past summer for the first phase.
The next project is the Cub Café which is also in the McFarland Student Union. The Café will expand to include more seating options and be an all-you-can-eat place for students and faculty.
“It will be like a mini South Dining Hall,” says assistant director Amanda Fretz.
Two of the current entrances into the MSU leads into the Bear’s Den and the seating area outside of the Cub Café. After the restorations take place, the latter entrance will open up directly into the Cub Café. This was the reason for the new pathway outside of the McFarland Student Union Building that was put in this summer.
Chick-fil-A will no longer be in the Cub Café after this renovation. It will be moving to the Academic Forum to replace The American Grill. After this change, the AF will no longer accept a meal plan at any of the vendors in fall 2016. This will become strictly a retail location, according to Fretz.
The final step is the South Dining Hall. In the future, to enter South Dining Hall, students and faculty will use a meal swipe. They will be able to get any food within South Dining Hall.
After the renovations to South Dining Hall are complete, South will be open 24 hours a day, which students are very excited about.
Student Jackie Reese said, “I’m glad that South will be open 24 hours a day. It’ll be a nice place for students that need to study late at night and not bother their roommate. And being able to get food late night is always a plus.”
In fall 2016, the meal plan will change to unlimited dining according to Fretz. This means that there will be no more time frames for meals. There will be no set amount of meals per day.