The UMC, UCSU and various other groups on campus are looking to improve the seating of two of the three dining areas in the UMC, said Andrelino Cardoso, the UMC Food Services director.
The west seating area in front of Celestial Seasonings and Domino’s Pizza and the north area directly in front of Baby Doe’s are scheduled to be renovated, said Cardoso.
Cardoso said students should expect to see the changes around next October.
Project coordinators intend to upgrade these areas to suit the interests of the many students who come to the UMC, Cardoso said.
“Approximately 14,000 students come through the UMC daily,” Cardoso said. “We want to upgrade it into the ‘campus living room.’ Something that is more enticing, pleasant, and a place where students can relax, hang out and have a good time.”
The project, just under $2 million, has already been started and is currently in its design phase, Cardoso said. The building’s construction is scheduled to start in June of the coming year and be completed in October.
The UMC will remain open throughout the summer and the beginning of next school year and will operate partially during the month that it is under construction. This schedule is intended to meet the minimum needs of students.
Cardoso said the UMC is looking for contributions from students and faculty to determine what they should change.
“We are getting as much input as possible,” Cardoso said.
He said he feels that the only way the UMC’s new look will be a success is if there is enough input from students.
“We want them to feel an ownership to the UMC,” Cardoso said.
According to Cardoso, the Alferd Packer Grill was last renovated in 1986 and is in need of a new identity. He also said the dining area needs a renewed focus on students and a redefinition of the stores and coffee shops surrounding it.
“After 23 years or so, it needs help,” Cardoso said. “The environment around it has changed.”
Cardoso said the UMC is looking to create more food variety and include more local companies as well as display cooking.
Zachary Wilson, a student manager at the Alferd Packer Grill and a senior business accounting major, said he is looking forward to the project.
“It’s an excellent renovation project, and we’ve needed it for the past few years,” Wilson said.
Cardoso said that new seating arrangements will be necessary.
While the UMC, in theory, has the capacity to seat a thousand students, it usually only fits about 450-500 students, as students are wary of sharing the large tables in the UMC with strangers, Cardoso said.
He said plans for seating include more benches, smaller tables, more arrangements for charging laptops, environmentally friendly resources, new tray returns and more.
“The idea behind the renovations is to update the facility to meet the needs of today’s students,” Cardoso said.
The UMC also anticipates changes to Baby Doe’s, though Cardoso said the changes that will occur are not yet concrete.
While the impending renovations may be daunting to employees, Cardoso said Baby Doe’s and other UMC stores should not have to lay off anyone. He said he anticipates that employees, who are going to go through training on how to operate in the new facility, will continue to work in their respective areas.
Leif Oines, a first year psychology Ph.D. student, said he wasn’t fond of the cafeteria look that the UMC has displayed. He also provided some of his own input as to the changes he said he would like to see.
“More recreational things, like a pool table, would be good,” Oines said.
To take a survey and provide input as to the renovations that are scheduled, click here.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sushupta Srinidhi at Sushupta.firstname.lastname@example.org.