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SFU Dining Services lays out plans for new venues

A potential new Univercity dining venue is being explored through community consultation

WEB-new dining hall-Mark BurnhamSFU Dining Services is exploring the possibility of a new dining venue in Univercity on Burnaby campus, and has been asking students via Twitter and Facebook to complete a survey as to what they would like to see.

The vision for this space is similar to that of the residence Dining Hall, the only 24/7 university dining service in Canada. It would be open 24 hours a day and provide not only students, but the Burnaby Mountain community, with a place to eat, study, and interact socially.

Once public interest and demand has been gauged, a proposal will be put forward to the university for a new dining venue at Cornerstone’s Centre Block, right across from Nesters. If accepted, Dining Services would like to implement this plan by 2017.

Ancillary Services’ executive director, Mark McLaughlin, gave The Peak the scoop on all that the near future holds for dining on the Burnaby campus, starting with a centrally located Jugo Juice to open this September.

There are currently 3,500 residents on campus and that figure is expected to increase to 10,000 in the long-term. McLaughlin explained that as the SFU population grows, its dining services will need to grow as well.

The next change that the SFU community can expect is a new food court at Discovery 1. This extension is expected to open January, 2015. Both this location and the potential space in Univercity would be rolled into SFU’s meal plan, which serves students in residence and even some commuters.

McLaughlin explained some of the overarching goals for these plans: “Our vision for Dining Services is to create engaging, trendy, popular spaces where students can study, hang out, make friends, [. . . and] to drive up the school spirit and break down some of the social isolation.”

He believes that there’s a great need for such a space in Univercity, which is home to students, faculty, and independent families. “There’s no space for the community and the students to come gather,” said McLaughlin.

The more specific details of the proposal for the Centre Block space will be worked out after the consultation process ends on July 31. The online survey asks about dining habits, frequented locations on campus, and the need for a meal plan among other things.

“It’s a really exciting project. We’re trying to create social spaces for students, places where students can engage each other,” McLaughlin continued. “It’s still in the planning phases. We’re just sort of planning and testing the water and we’ll see what the reaction is. So far, the reaction has been pretty positive I think.”

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