MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University is making preparations for a full reopening in the fall of its dining services; in time for the start of the fall semester on Aug. 18.
According to a press release, members of the university’s Board of Governors approved several projects designed to enhance the dining experience for the campus community during a special meeting on Thursday (May 20). This cleared the way for construction through the summer months. Erin Newmeyer, executive director for strategic initiatives, said the motivation for these improvements is the fact that the fall semester will see students returning to full-time in-person learning.
It’s always a priority for our campus, that student experience, and we’ve recognized we have a really unique opportunity this fall with not only first-time freshmen returning to a more in-person campus experience but also our rising sophomores. And we started our partnership with Sodexo about three years ago, and one of the great things about that partnership is their flexibility.”Erin Newmeyer – Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives
Sodexo, Newmeyer said, is WVU’s dining service partner and its flexibility has allowed the university to enhance food options for students, faculty and staff. Furthermore, the partnership allows WVU to try new concepts and take away others that don’t resonate well with students.
According to the release, three of the projects are at Evansdale Crossing.
Plans include renovations to the 5th floor dining area for World of Wings Cafe, an American sports bar and grill. The former Taziki’s location will be reworked to house York Street Market while the previous Waldo’s Chicken location will become the I Love Juice Bar with a focus on vegetarian and organic items.
Additionally, a separate York Street Market location is planned at the Mountainlair in the former Blue Tomato space with a smaller site at The Market @ WVU at Health Sciences alongside Hissho Sushi in what was previously Mindful Café.
At Lyon Tower, the Lyon’s Den convenience store will be renovated to make space for more coffee options offered during extended hours.
Altogether, the estimated cost of the projects totals $2.2 million.
The work is scheduled to be finished by the start of the fall semester with the exception of World of Wings which is due to open in spring 2022.
The following dining locations will close permanently:
- Boreman Bistro.
- Brew ‘n Gold.
- Panini Pete’s.
- The Greenhouse Café.
Campus dining projects completed during the previous fiscal year included The Market @ UPlace, HSC’s Jazzmans at Cavanaugh’s, Bit & Bytes at Engineering and Panda Express, located at the Mountainlair.
Newmeyer said these changes are part of WVU’s commitment to always provide the best dining options for the campus.
“We’re always looking at the current generation of students and their behaviors and the way that they like to dine and engage on campus,” Newmeyer said. “And so I think these new additions and offerings will just help enhance some of the already great offerings we have on campus currently.”
Newmeyer said if these new changes are promising, WVU will continue to make more in the same vein. However, she said, if these proposed improvements do not resonate well with students, then the university will look to find better options.
All in all, though, she said she hopes students, faculty and staff are excited about the new options because the university certainly is.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity and look forward to getting students back on campus in a more traditional sense in the fall; in the hopes that they’re really excited about some of the new options,” Newmeyer said.