This summer, the University will begin the first phase of a multi-year renovation of the Hecht/Stanford Dining Hall.
According to Mel Tenen, Director of Auxiliary Services (which oversees Dining Services), the cafeteria will have an additional 1100 square feet, enhanced booth seating, and a new entryway after the first phase is completed.
The renovation will begin May 15, after the end of the spring semester, and will be finished by the end of summer.
“When the students come back in the fall,” added Tenen, “we’ll have an expanded and advanced new cafeteria.”
The renovation will result in 92 additional seats, for a total of 540 seats; 68 booth seatings, and 472 regular seats.
Overall, the cafeteria will be approximately 4000 square feet, an expansion of about 25%.
The project will include extending out the front glass entry onto part of the existing concrete slab in front of the cafeteria, adjacent to the Stanford towers.
Also, the large clock and the screen in front of the tray disposal will be removed to create additional seating in the already cramped dining facility, Tenen said.
The ‘Cane Card register will be moved further away from the front entrance, so that students will not have to wait in line outside, he said.
Student Government Speaker of the Senate and Presidential candidate Michael Johnston brought to Tenen’s attention the dire need for more seating in the Hecht/Stanford cafeteria.
“Mike Johnston approached me, and asked if the University would consider expanding that cafeteria,” Tenen said.
The project is a joint venture between the University and Student Government, Johnston said.
“Everyone is always fighting for seats,” Johnston said. “People think that Mahoney/Pearson is better just because it’s newer and bigger. That’s not fair to them. The students need a larger place to eat. I’m an engineering major, and I can realize this kind of stuff.”
Johnston said he feels proud to have done his duty as a representative of the students.
“They’ll be able to get in faster, they’ll be able to eat faster, and they’ll be able to get out faster,” Johnston said.
About 55% of total students use the Hecht/Stanford cafeteria, and 45% dine at Mahoney/Pearson.
“Because of its proximity to the Wellness Center, the Intramural fields, the student apartments, and the Hecht, Stanford, and Eaton dorms, a majority of the students utilize the Hecht/Stanford cafeteria, which further lends the need to expand,” Tenen said.
“The University just completed this past summer a 3-year renovation cycle for Mahoney/Pearson cafeteria, but Hecht/Stanford was last totally renovated in 1995,” Tenen pointed out, emphasizing the need to now focus on the Hecht/Stanford Dining Hall.