North Texas Daily

Renovations to dining halls set to finish by fall semester

Renovations to dining halls set to finish by fall semester

April 17
22:20 2013

Daniel Bissell / Staff Writer

The dining halls at Bruce and Clark Hall are both undergoing renovations to satisfy the needs of the growing student body. The $2.6 million renovation to Bruce Hall and the renovation to Clark Hall are set to be operational for the upcoming fall semester.

Kenneth Botts, manager of special projects for the UNT Dining Service, said the expansion of Bruce Hall will be the second phase of the overall renovation, with the first being the modernization of the dining hall’s kitchen last year. The first phase was a $2 million renovation that added a dish room and remodeled the dining area and kitchen.

He said Bruce’s popularity among students and faculty made it a frontrunner for the current wave of renovations happening across campus.

“For phase two we’re adding more seats,” Botts said. “Four hundred and thirty people at lunch in the current facility is crowded and uncomfortable. Bruce was built in the 60s, so after 50 years it’s time for an upgrade.”

Facilities planner and project manager Janna Morgan said the dining hall will be expanded by up to 50 percent of its current seating capacity.

“As of now, the capacity in the Bruce dining hall is 432 seats,” Morgan said. “We will be expanding capacity by over 200 seats.”

Morgan said the renovation project will also include skylights, an extended roof line and a 1,000-square-foot patio. She said Bruce is a popular dining hall on campus due in part to its central location.

“Bruce is one of the more popular dining halls at UNT,” Morgan said. “It’s near the heart of campus, so students and faculty members frequent it in large numbers.”

Botts said the expanded hall will nearly touch the street at the corner of Chestnut and Avenue C.

“If you look at the rendering picture, that grassy area at the southwest [front-most] corner of the property is what the expanded hall will cover,” Botts said. “It will reach almost all the way to the curb.”

Associate Director of Resident Dining Peter Balabuch told UNT News the renovations will address the dining hall’s growing popularity.

“Bruce has always been a very busy location, being so close to all the academic buildings,” Balabuch said. “It is extremely busy. These renovations will add a large seating area to make room for more people.”

Morgan said that renderings with illustrations and specifications will be posted for the public outside the dining hall in the near future.

“Within the next few days there will be renderings of the new dining hall posted on the outside wall,” Morgan said.

Clark Hall is also slated for renovation. The refurbished dining hall will become the central bakery for all dining locations on campus.

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