Terrace expansion underway
Summer construction on campus is already underway, this year targeting primarily food and beverage venues.
Sites that have been approved include the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union’s Terrace food court and Food Services’ Fresh Food Company, Concourse Café and Tim Hortons.
The expansion of the lower level of the Terrace food court in to the area between the Fred Nichols Campus Centre (FNCC) and Macdonald House Residence began the week of May 10. The addition, set to be completed by January 2011, will provide an increase of approximate 2,000 square feet of student space.
Michael Welk, project co-ordinator of renovations and construction at Laurier, remarked, “It’s going to be a comfortable space for students to come and hang out.”
The proposal for the expansion was approved by the Student Life Levy (SLL) three years ago, which is now contributing approximately $1.1 million to the new space.
The space is designed to accommodate the needs of students, including power outlets for laptops along the new window counter seating.
“We’re going to try to integrate it into as much of the furniture as possible so that there’s enough [electric] receptacles for people to go to,” said Welk.
Both Welk and WLUSU general manager Mike McMahon assured that although construction will be on-going into the fall term, the disruption for students will be kept at a minimum as the Terrace will remain in full operation.
“They are not going to remove the windows in the Terrace proper until the outside part is basically fully constructed,” explained McMahon.
Apart from minor disruptions planned to occur on weekends involving the plumbing that fuels Union Market and William’s Express, the businesses will be accessible until mid-November.
“In the space that remains in the lower level food court, Union Market and the sushi vending tent … will conduct renovations of their own,” said McMahon. The six week project will affect Union Market exclusively.
A digital sign, a $42,000 capital expenditure also approved and funded by the SLL, will be installed outside the FNCC replacing the sign which currently stands by the entrance doors. McMahon confirmed that it should be fully installed by June 30.
Among the changes occurring at food services locations this summer, the most notable will happen at the Tim Hortons in the Peters and science buildings, and at the Concourse Café.
With both Tim Hortons locations being approximately 10 years old, renovations were necessary, according to director of student services Dan Dawson, to meet the brand’s standards for merchandising and equipment.
“What we’re moving towards is newer equipment, double point of sale … and [to] set them up in an ergonomic way that benefits the employees better,” said Dawson.
For the science building location, changes will allow for a full menu offering of Tim Hortons products, including breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
“Part of our goal in the science location, to recognize the trend and the growth in the faculty over the past 10 years, we need to create another full service lunch location to take some of the traffic demand away from Terrace food court and dining hall,” explained Dawson.
The Peters building Tim Hortons will change its layout to improve efficiency, while adding a toaster to prepare food for customers and removing the unprofitable pizza option from the menu.
The Concourse Café will receive a full renovation to accommodate a new partnership for the location.
“The Second Cup location is actually being removed all together and a Starbucks kiosk is going in its place,” said Welk.
As contracts with Second Cup have ended, Starbucks was decided to be a more beneficial partnership according to Dawson.
The new Starbucks will feature the company’s core product line, along with their sandwich program, although previously sold items such as soups and grilled cheese will most likely be discontinued.
Despite the physical changes happening to the site of the business, there are no plans for extensive upgrades in the seating area of the Concourse.
“They’re thinking of providing some counter mounted seating along the window but overall there’s no big plans,” said Welk.
The Hub and the OneCard office are intended to be renovated this summer, but according to Welk the drawings for businesses are still in progress. Once they are confirmed and a contractor is hired, construction will begin with hopes of completion for the fall.
More minor changes will be occurring at the Tim Hortons in King Street residence, where the current baking equipment will be moved to the Science building location and then replaced with grills and fryers to offer different menu items.
The Fresh Food Company, operating through the dining hall, will have three new pieces of equipment installed adjacent to the current deli counter to provide students with Halal food options.
“Part of our overall object has been with all of these redesigns to focus on getting line ups processed as efficiently as possible with the broadest product line that we can given the location restrictions,” said Dawson.