Home Education Boyd Dining Hall to Close for Spring Semester, Offers Food Truck as Replacement

Boyd Dining Hall to Close for Spring Semester, Offers Food Truck as Replacement

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Boyd Dining Hall, an important staple for those living on West Green, will be closing spring semester for much-needed renovations.

The dining hall is often cited as the worst of the dining halls. When compared to Nelson, which was renovated in 2012, and Shively, which completed renovations in 2010, Boyd has considerably less modern design.

According to information from the Board of Trustee’s meeting in October, the university is spending a budgeted $12 million from the Culinary Services financial reserves to remedy these problems.

A new problem is created, however, because even though Boyd is rarely a favorite, hundreds of students eat there every day.  Due to its relative isolation from the other residential greens, students living on West Green will be most affected by these problems.

 

While the dining hall is currently slated to reopen Fall Semester 2015, students will be left without a third dining hall until then. To fix this, Culinary Services is offering options such as a scaled back Grab N’ Go in what is currently the entryway to the dining hall, extended hours at other dining halls as well as West 82 and a much-anticipated food truck known as the Hungry Cat.

 

Students understand the need to renovate Boyd, but still wish they did not have to be the ones to deal with the problems. For instance, freshman Madison Wells, a theatre major living in James Hall, is not excited for the renovations.

“I think it’s necessary, renovation-wise, just to keep up and be able to serve the masses, but it’s really hard for those living on West,” Wells said. “I mean I know they’re trying to get us options, but a food truck and getting bussed to Nelson is not the same as just being able to walk across the lawn to a dining hall.”

 

Wells also thinks that there will be problems with excessive lines at the remaining options on West, as well as with the bus transporting students around.

“There’s going to be the problem of laziness,” Wells said. “No one’s really going to want to hop on a bus, so everyone’s going to stay [on West Green] and be in line for a food truck.”

Blaire Mertz, a sophomore also living on West Green, is going to take a different approach, but still isn’t thrilled about the new accommodations.

“I’m anticipating probably having to walk a lot to Nelson to get food,” Mertz said. “I think West Green is going to be less popular. I wish they would have done [the renovations] first semester when it was warm so it wouldn’t have been as big of a deal to walk because now it’s going to be cold.”

While Mertz is aware of the food truck, she was unsure what would be available from it. She suggested that this could be remedied if Culinary Services put out some sort of poll to let students have a say in what kind of food they were interested in getting from a food truck. Students had the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Arthur, Culinary Services’ new executive chef, and sample foods back in October, but many students missed the opportunity.

According to Culinary Services’ website, during this meeting, food from the Hungry Cat “received rave reviews”, including an 80 percent approval rating for the OHIO BLT, with fresh bacon from Culinary Services’ Central Support Kitchen and a 78 percent approval for an all-beef Hot Dog.

For those still looking to eat in a dining hall, transportation to South Green will be provided. A CATS shuttle will pick up students from both Baker Center and the Academic and Research Center and take them to Nelson. However, West Green resident Bethany Bella is concerned with the bus schedules. The dining halls will have extended hours during Boyd’s closure, but the shuttle schedule might not work out for students.

“I actually found out that [the shuttle] only runs until 7:30,” said Bella. “It’s a little inconvenient if you need to have dinner late and you don’t want to walk back in the cold and snow, but you can’t take the campus shuttle bus.”

Bella, who is unsure whether or not she would have picked housing on West Green if she would have known about the closing, is a vegetarian, and therefore has access to a kitchen on South Green. She has concerns over whether or not the shuttle will mesh with her schedule.

“I’m only allowed to deposit the kitchen key after 8:30, so when the shuttle stops at 7:30, I’m kind of screwed,” said Bella. “I definitely disagree with the shuttle stopping at 7:30 because I know that students are in Nelson and in Shively a lot longer than that, and if the University made the decision to close one of their three main dining halls, I think they should at least have not an all night shuttle, but it should be pretty close.”

 

Dan Pittman, assistant director of auxiliary sales, said in an email that every student should be able to enjoy an updated dining experience, regardless of their location on campus.

To properly complete the Boyd Dining’s renovations in advance of its planned Fall Semester 2015 opening, it is necessary to close the venue at the end of Fall Semester 2014 in order provide an appropriate construction timeframe,” Pittman said in an email. “This will allow critical project, utility and infrastructure work to occur within Boyd that otherwise could not be completed while in full operation.”

Pittman also said that no student employees would lose their job as a result of Boyd’s closing. All students will be accommodated with positions within other Culinary Services operations.

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