Feelings mixed about how to utilize the empty space
The dining hall in Cheyenne Arapaho sits vacant, dusty and dilapidated. But don’t get too excited about a renovation of the joint anytime soon. As of now, The Department of Housing and Dining Services is in the preliminary planning process of using the space for the Residential Campus program.
Residential Campuses are designed to integrate living and learning by adding classrooms in the dorms.
The empty space is currently used for residential programming, tutoring and other educational activities. Yet several freshmen have voiced their frustration with the lack of change in what is beginning to be known as an eyesore.
“It’s a waste of space, it’s awful, it’s a junk room and the biggest waste of cubic feet I have ever seen,” said Nathan Paschke, a sophomore open-option major and resident of Cheyenne Arapaho.
The dining hall has been closed since last January, but it wasn’t until this January that the area was completely vacated. During that time, the cafeteria’s kitchen utilities were used by Piazanos, a quick grab-n-go cafe that was opened instead of completely closing the dining hall last spring.
The new cafe, found on the first floor of the dorm, has quickly become one of students’ favorite spots to grab a bite to eat partially because the food served is 100 percent natural.
According to Kambiz Khalili, director of Auxiliary and Dining Services, Paizanos serves over 2,200 meals a day. However, the complaint to re-open the cafeteria still stands strong.
“Grab-n-go gets old,” Paschke said.
Another freshman living directly across from the old commons gets irritated by excessive drilling at 7 a.m., but doesn’t find any real need to re-open the unoccupied space as a dining hall.
“It would be convenient if they turned it into a dining hall, but it would cause a lot of traffic between these halls,” said Sean McDevitt, a freshman economics major.
It is tough luck for those rooting for a renovation of Cheyenne Arapaho’s cafeteria in the likes of Farrand and Libby. The dining hall was closed due to a lack of attendance and failing equipment. The area has not been renovated since it was built in 1955. Khalili relates the ancient facility to having a hole in
your pocket, with constant expenses going out the door fixing it.
Khalili makes an important point by addressing the fact that an entire renovation of the cafeteria would cause an increase in student fees, a common issue that has been largely contested among students.
“Opening Paizanos was a minimal investment that serves a lot of students daily,” Khalili said. “We are looking into upgrading the area sometime in the future as a space set aside for educational purposes.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Tate Delloye at email@example.com..