Changes are happening on campus at Midwestern State. A new dorm is being built and new dining options are changing the menu.
Three new restaurants have taken over the food court, which is in the Clark Student Center. The most popular pick, Chick-fil-A.
“Students have absolutely loved that, so the day that they opened at 11, they had this long lone forming,” Matthew Park, Associate VP and Dean of Students at MSU said.
Students also have the option of the Burrito Bowl and The Grill. So, there’s a little something for everyone wanting to chow down. Another new addition to the campus is in the Dillard College of Business Administration. However, that restaurant, the Einsteins Bagel is still under construction. Park explained it should be open for business by November 2015.
That option took over the spot where the Starbucks used to be. There is no need to panic though. The Starbucks has just been moved to the Moffet Library. This makes sense it is the primary place where students go to study. While the Starbucks is open, there are still some minor tweaks that need to be done. This includes bringing in some healthy snack options. Officials said they want to make it so the only thing that has changed about the Starbucks is the location.
“It’s definitely a process, but I think as a campus, we’re moving in the right direction,” Park said.
While the menu options are changing at Midwestern State, so are the payment options.
“One this that is new with our meal plan structure here at the university is the residential students can go to these retail locations and they can use a meal swipe and get a meal there instead of going into the main dining hall,” he explained.
Many students expressed, besides getting a Chick-fil-A, being able to use their meal swipe at the restaurants is amazing. For many of the returning students, they said it was something they always thought was logical. Plus, it gives them more options when deciding on what and when to eat. All the restaurants in the Clark Student Center are open until 10:0p.m. Before, they were only open until 7:00p.m.
“It was time to essentially revitalize the dining experience on campus to meet the modern student interest and needs,” Park said.
All of the enhancements to the dining experience started when the university changed companies whom they had a service contract with. They had been with the previous company for 19 years. With the new company they are able to do all of the upgrades with no charge to the campus.
“We did a ten year agreement,” he said.
This is just the first phase of the project, which they plan to complete soon. The second phase is revamping the residential dining, with is the dining halls. Park explained the plan is to remodel the existing dining hall and build a new one. This would make it so there are two dining halls for students to go and eat.
“One will occupy the space currently located where the Shawnee Theater and the Arrowhead Lounge space is,” he said.
That area would be converted into a dining space. While the plan is to have two locations, they will each have their own concept. The existing dining hall would keep it’s cafeteria environment, while the other would have more of a restaurant experience.
Park explained they plan to start remodeling the new dining hall in Spring 2016. It would open by the beginning of the summer session. Once the new dining hall opens up, the existing one would be shut down so it can be remodeled.
“The new dining and the new residence hall will all open up for Fall 2016, so it will be pretty exciting,” he said.