North Texas Daily

Completed dining hall makes mealtime less crowded

Completed dining hall makes mealtime less crowded

Completed dining hall makes mealtime less crowded
February 17
23:08 2014

Trey Pomroy // Contributing Writer

Last semester, biology freshman Shawn Foster had a hard time finding a place to eat in Bruce Dining Hall.

As of Jan. 20, this should no longer be an issue because the new addition to the dining area is now open.

“When rush happened around noon, it was awful. Now, you can find your own seat,” Foster said. “It was awkward eating with it so tightly packed.”

Construction started at Bruce Hall in May 2011 to expand the kitchen and  reorganize the food lines to be more fluid. That construction finished in spring of 2012, which allowed for construction of the dining area to begin last summer, said Peter Balabuch, associate director of Dining Sevices.

Bruce Hall is one of the busiest dining halls on campus, serving about 16,200 students per week in 64 hours of operation. The construction added about 200 seats to raise total seating in the dining hall to more than 600 seats, in order to deal with the heavy traffic it serves. The busiest dining hall on campus is Kerr Hall, which serves about 17,000 students in 101 hours of operation.

Before the new addition, Bruce Hall had “people elbow-to-elbow inside the cafeteria” during the peak times, Balabuch said.

“[Dining halls] are student’s living rooms and dining rooms, and we want to provide the best experience we can, “ Balabuch said.

Sarah Anderson, associate hall director for Bruce Hall, has noticed more space in the past month. Now if she wants to eat with a group of four or five, there is normally room for them to all sit together, she said.

A line still forms inside the hallway leading to the cafeteria, but once students are in and have their food, it is not difficult to find a seat, Anderson said.

As construction to the outside of Bruce Hall finishes up, Dining Services looks to future upgrades. Kerr Hall is next, but the project won’t begin until after the Union construction is complete in fall 2015, Balabuch said. No firm plans have been made on the time frame or floor plans for that project.

Feature photo: The new entrance to the Bruce Hall cafeteria. The entrance sits to the left of the hall’s main doors and will allow for students to directly enter the cafeteria without walking in to the residence hall. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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