Village Dining will undergo extensive changes this summer, adding new dining options and renovating current spaces.
Trustees approved the resolution, which is expected to cost $3.8 million, during its meeting Friday morning.
The project includes an all-you-care-to-eat kitchen space, dining room improvements, extensive equipment upgrades, new back-of-house epoxy flooring and an additional point-of-sale entry, according to an executive summary by the Property and Facilities Committee.
Glenn Loughridge, director of campus dining, said the goal is to provide a community-oriented dining experience with local produce and meats.
“Local is one of the things that we are really going for in our dining halls,” he said. “We specified in our contract that 20 percent of our purchases would be local.”
Tiger Dining plans to add healthier options to the menu at Tiger Zone in the Village Dining facility. This will give students a wide variety of food to choose from.
“There will be some vegan and vegetarian options that we are going to be offering this fall,” said Gwen Ward, administrative specialist of campus dining. “This will be a place where students who have special dietary challenges can go look at the menu and order anything they want.”
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Tiger Zone has several four-person tables, she said.
Since students tend to sit alone, she said she hopes adding community-style tables will change that.
“Family dinners are important because that’s where people connect,” she said. “And what we are really trying to replicate is giving students more opportunities, more places where they can connect.”
“It is our philosophy that, being the Auburn family, everybody needs a seat at the table,” Loughridge said.
Interior renovations will give Village Dining an upscale appearance, he said.
The first phase of the project also includes renovating the Chick-fil-A in the Student Center while adding a second Chick-fil-A in the Village, replacing 844 Burger.
The current restaurant in the Student Center has two service lines. Part of the renovation includes condensing that down to one, he said.
“Having a single place where all the food is going will streamline that process and get food out faster,” he said. “We already do a transaction every 11 seconds, but we’re hoping to be able to beat that going forward.”
Loughridge also said the second Chick-fil-A will allow the University to expand its use of the fast-food chain.
Along with these projects, campus dining will offer new meal plans starting in the fall. Students can make changes to their meal plan up until the 10th day of class, he said.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman