Dining hall to close for summer

Food services, who usually maintains limited hours during the summer term for students and faculty on campus, will be closing down all operations this summer, including the dining hall and the various coffee outlets throughout campus.

“We are planning to close down all of our Wilfrid Laurier run food service operations for cash business this summer because we are going to do some fairly significant renovations,” said director of student services Dan Dawson.

The renovations in the dining hall will include a new station that will serve Halal food, a market that they have not been able to cater to very well in the past.

The inclusion of this new station will also require ventilation work to be done, meaning that the entire ventilation system will have to be shut down during renovations.

The coffee outlets around campus will also be receiving upgrades, enabling them to run more efficiently and serve a wider variety of customer needs.

“We’re looking at updating equipment, counter space and trying to improve ventilation to be able to expand the menu opportunities in those areas,” said Dawson.

Food services will be closing their operations at the end of April, after the exam period, and the renovations are expected to be complete by the week of Aug. 16.

“If we don’t get it done during the summer then it’s really challenging to keep everything moving,” said Dawson.

This deadline will provide time to set up and allow staff to become accustomed to the changes before the food venues are reopened for the fall 2010 term.

“What we’re kind of optimistic for is that this will be one summer of significant interruption and then we will be that much better prepared to move forward,” said Dawson.

He explained that in the past, remaining open for business during the summer months had caused food services to run a deficit for that period, although their catering and conference business– which will remain active this summer– helps to balance the budget.

The university believes that their overall financial position for the upcoming fiscal year will improve as a result of this closure. In the absence of these food venues, the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union-operated restaurant, Wilf’s, will be staying open for the duration of the summer, as will Williams, Union Market, Pizza Pizza and Harvey’s in the Terrace.

WLUSU food and beverage manager Rob Sexton explained that the hours of operation set for these venues over the summer have been extended from the hours held by the dining hall last summer.

In addition, Williams will remain open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday to provide for students who have late classes. The summer Terrace hours will begin on April 26, although the extended hours at Williams will not come into effect until spring term classes begin.

“Our students’ union is ecstatic that we are able to open this summer and take this project on; our employees are thrilled for the opportunity to be able to work in the summertime,” said Sexton.

“We just think it’s a great opportunity for us to serve the campus. It’s good news for us and we’re excited about it.”

Prior to these renovations, the dining hall underwent approximately $300,000 worth of Fresh Food Company upgrades over the summer term in 2008. The budget for the newly proposed renovations has yet to be established.

Summer hours

Wilf’s

11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday to Thursday

11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Friday

Terrace

Union Market/Pizza
Pizza/ Harvey’s

8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday to Friday

Williams
8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Monday to Thursday

8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday

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