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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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TDR closes for renovations Friday: Here’s what you need to know

Temporary dining hall to open in MGC 128

A temporary dining hall will open in Mary Graydon Center 128 — the glass room to the left of Panera — when Terrace Dining Room closes for the second phase of renovations on March 29, according to an announcement posted on AU Kitchen’s website on March 20. 

MGC 128 will resume normal TDR hours when it opens on April 1, but other dining locations will have extended hours during the weekend of March 30 and 31 to “offset the TDR transition period,” Elizabeth Deal, the assistant vice president for community and internal communication, wrote in an email to The Eagle. AU Kitchen will use the MGC Tavern over the weekend to offer a catered brunch and host pop-up dinners, including allergy-friendly options, in the evenings. 

Since the University could not complete renovations only during the summer months, dining officials chose instead to close TDR in late spring — when dining hall attendance typically drops off — rather than open late in the fall, when attendance is highest. 

Upon reopening in fall 2024, TDR will have multiple entrances on both sides of the main stairwell, new dining stations, more gluten-free and allergy-friendly options, different seating setups and more sustainability features. 

The temporary dining hall 

Beginning April 1, MGC 128  will house regular dining stations but will not include seating. Instead, the University will add more Tavern and TDR-style tables and chairs on the first floor of MGC for students visiting the dining hall and eating at other dining venues. 

To accommodate for the all-you-can-eat style of TDR, students will be able to reenter MGC 128 up to three times after their initial swipe without deducting another swipe, according to Deal. After each swipe, they will have to wait ten minutes to reenter. Once 30 minutes have passed since the first swipe, another entry will deduct a swipe.

The additional swipes are only available to students with all-inclusive meal plans. 

“This process is still undergoing final testing and may change to ensure as seamless an experience for our meal plan holders as possible,” Deal wrote in an email to The Eagle. “Any changes will be posted to our websites.” 

Build-your-own meal plan customers will receive additional meal swipes to accommodate for re-entry. Thirty percent of their remaining balance as of March 29 will be added to their accounts by April 5.

“This is because of technical limitations in how these plans are built in our system and based on our analysis of these plan holders’ re-entry habits during the Fall and Spring this year,” Deal wrote in an email to The Eagle.

With the exception of omelets and breakfast sandwiches, all other main dining stations will be available in MGC 128, according to Deal. Omelets and breakfast sandwiches will instead be available at True Burger during regular weekday breakfast or weekend brunch hours and can be ordered on a Grubhub kiosk in MGC 128 as a meal swipe and on the Grubhub app using a meal exchange or other payment. 

During the temporary relocation, AU Kitchen will use compostable serviceware — instead of the typical reusable dishware and silverware — to accommodate for limited space in the dish room during renovations. Green reusable containers will also remain available to take food to-go throughout the relocation.

“Our team remains committed to composting food scraps throughout meal preparation,” Deal wrote in an email to The Eagle. “We are collaborating with student groups on sustainability initiatives, focusing on composting and educating about food waste.”

Continuing TDR renovations

According to Michael Scher, the assistant vice president for campus auxiliary services, AU continues to refine design plans and efforts to incorporate sustainability into the new dining room. The floor plans from the initial announcement of renovations in November remain largely unchanged, but Scher said the team has looked at some different finishings and decoration styles for the aesthetics of dining stations. 

According to the March 20 update, construction on the new kitchen continues with “remarkable progress” with the construction of wall frames for the new dish room, office space and open kitchen beginning and plumbing work — including excavation for new plumbing and sewer lines — nearing completion. 

tdr reno pic

The update also announced the addition of a new walk-in refrigerator and freezer which “significantly augments our storage capabilities, providing expanded space for a diverse range of fresh and frozen produce, meats, plant-based proteins, and more.”

AU Kitchen writes that “the evolution of this space is tangible” and looks forward to the completion of renovations by the start of the fall semester. 

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated Elizabeth Deal’s title as “assistant vice president for communication and internal communications manager.” The article has since been updated with Deal’s correct title, assistant vice president for community and internal communication. 

This article was edited by Tyler Davis, Abigail Turner and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Isabelle Kravis and Ariana Kavoossi.

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