The Hamilton-Williams food court is long overdue for a face-lift. Neither furniture nor equipment has been replaced since the campus center was built 20 years ago.
Luckily, the food court will receive a makeover soon. Gene Castelli, Resident District Manager of Chartwells, met with WCSA recently to discuss summer renovations.
The renovated food court will serve much of the same food, keeping the sushi, sandwich, Healthy Bishop and salad stations. But it will also bring change, incorporating more brand-name food.
This would allow for more variety and convenience. A Papa John’s pizza station will allow students to quickly grab individual-sized pizzas. Chartwells is also deciding between two local brands to replace the current grill station.
The school has been reluctant to involve brand-name products in the past because most companies demand commissions. So far, Starbucks and Coca-Cola are the only brand-names on campus.
The food court’s layout will change as well. The same architect who planned Smith Dining Hall drafted the new floor plan.
The renovations aim to increase efficiency, angling the cash registers so students can flow through more easily. These changes also affect the dining areas, which will look different without losing seating.
Castelli said the renovation would cost $500,000 – $600,000, a modest budget compared to recent projects.
“Considering the school spent $13 million on Stuyvesant, this amount doesn’t seem like much,” Castelli said.
This project would cost less than previous dining hall renovations. Smith Dining Hall was given $1 million for its renovation in 2007.
Senior Eric Charette said he remembers how Smith Dining Hall looked before the changes.
“I had dinner in Smith as a prospective student, and it was disgusting then,” Charette said. “When I came back in the fall, I recognized the renovations immediately because it was so starkly different.”
In fact, a survey conducted soon after the renovations showed a 41 percent increase in student satisfaction of Smith Dining Hall.
The food court renovation is only one of Chartwells’ proposed campus changes. Castelli also mentioned the Thomson Convenience Store might be remodeled within a few years, although current students should not expect to see these changes soon.
Sophomore Ariel Koiman has worked extensively with Chartwells as a WSCA Representative.
He said he is looking forward to the renovations, and thanked Chartwells.
“I think it’s an excellent idea” Koiman said. “They’re doing the renovations for us. Honestly, I don’t know how they make a profit.”