By BRETT SWIGER
Up until now, campus renovation has not seriously affected students’ lives other than making them walk past or through construction areas. With the renovation of the Cougareat starting this June, however, breakfast and lunch, as many know it, will change.
At the end of May, the Cougareat and the cafeteria will close their doors for a year-long construction project that will transform it into a modern “food court.”
Access to the bookstore will only be available through the northwest doors and the Twilight Zone, said Dick Aland, Wilkinson Center construction manager.
During the year of construction, the Cougareat will not be able to handle the current capacity of patrons because of space constraints. Cougareat food services will be temporarily relocated in rooms 263-265 ELWC with seating in the West ELWC Ballroom or the Garden Court.
“It was the closest location and the only alternative area that we could use,” said Paul Johnson, BYU Dining Services assistant director.
Plans for some kind of protective floor covering for the ELWC Ballroom are being considered.
“Our first concern is not to destroy the hardwood floor,” Johnson explained.
Folding chairs and tables will be set up and taken down as needed to facilitate patrons and ballroom events.
The temporary location will be named Cougareat II. Most food services currently being offered, such as Taco Bell, KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut, will still be available. Traditional meals will also continue to be served.
The Cougareat II hours will be 8 a.m. through 2 p.m. weekdays, including Saturday. Both breakfast and lunch will be available. Dinner will no longer be served.
Food currently available at the “Grill,” such as taco salads or hamburgers, will no longer be available.
“We are looking at offering a variety of breakfast sandwiches and also pre-made salads for lunch,” Johnson said.
There will also be a self-serve ice cream machine and pastry bar.
Another concern among many Food Service employees is whether or not there will be enough jobs with the downsized Cougareat II.
“We’ve considered not even having a Cougareat during this period but we considered the employees and the concerns of others who wanted these services to continue,” said Mildred Jacobs, BYU Dining Services Retail Sales and Production coordinator.
“No full-time employees will lose their jobs because of the transition. … Actually, the timing of this move is a natural break for everyone because many part-time employees leave for the spring and summer anyway,” explained Johnson.
BYU Dining Services is presently considering several other locations on campus for a “satellite” food services center in addition to Cougareat II so more students can eat on campus.