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Campus store and remodeled cafeteria will greet students in the fall
May 01, 2006
By David Roach

When Southern Baptist Theological Seminary students return to campus in the fall, they will be greeted by some major changes.

Where the current post office is located they will find a campus store that includes classroom and office supplies, basic grocery items, toiletries and Southern Seminary logo items along with copying and postal services. The current cafeteria will be remodeled to resemble mall food courts and self-service buffets.

"These projects will make a real positive difference on our campus immediately especially in the area of campus life," said Clark Logan, Southern's senior vice president for institutional administration.

The cafeteria remodeling is based on feedback from a recent campus survey indicating that students want greater speed, more healthy food options and longer dining hours. The remodeling also anticipates increased needs as a result of the meal plan. In place of the traditional cafeteria setup, the new dining facility will offer both hot and cold grab-and-go items, a large salad bar, a hot buffet, a bakery and a grill for made-to-order items.

"The expectations that students bring are shaped by mall food courts as well as the more modern college and university dining facilities," said Andy Vincent, director of auxiliary services. "Our goal is to give students choices over the type and quantity of food they eat."

Expanded dining hours will include extended breakfast hours during which students can purchase made-to-order omelets along with other fresh items.

"It's going to be above awesome," said Pam Price, executive chef and director of dining services. "We're going to change the entire concept of our dining. It will be fast and furious but hot and fresh."

During construction in the cafeteria a full buffet will be served for students, faculty and staff in Heritage Hall. Patrons desiring grill items will be waited on in Heritage Hall by dining staff.

A commons area with couches and chairs will be created next to the campus store, and the store will include a renovated post office and copy center designed to resemble a Kinko's or UPS store. The store will offer a variety of shipping, printing and copying services along with expanded postal and copying hours. Students and faculty are encouraged to use the printing services for class needs as well as outside needs like church bulletins.

The Shield office will located in the store and students will be able to use their Shield card to charge purchases to their account at the store and the cafeteria.

Among the Southern Seminary logo items available will be shirts, hats, mugs and jackets. Basic grocery offerings and toiletries in the store are designed to meet the needs of commuters and campus residents who need small items such as milk or bread.

During construction campus mail service will continue, but student boxes will be relocated to an alternate location possibly the old Founders Cafe.

Both remodeling projects are scheduled to be complete by August.

Vincent said all renovations are based on feedback and suggestions from students. Continuing feedback will allow the seminary to adapt to student needs increasingly, he said.

"We want to meet expectations and needs that students bring to campus," Vincent said. "We're thankful for the feedback that led to these projects, and we want continued feedback."

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