Even before the campus center was completed in 2003, plans were already being made for a bigger residence hall.
Though the residence hall construction project–now set for completion in 2015–was in fetus stage at that time, the campus center has spaces prepared for it, according to Paul Wheeler, campus housing coordinator at Central Oregon Community College.
“The campus center was built to accommodate this residence hall,” Wheeler said. “As the construction moves forward, we’re going to look at the adjustments that need to be made.”
The residence hall will hold 330 students using the food service two meals a day on average, according to Wheeler. But even with only 94 students in the residence hall, Sodexo is impacted heavily, according to Herb Baker, food service director at COCC.
“The majority of people hit from a little bit before 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.,” Baker said. “When it gets really crowded, it pretty much backs up, so they’re going to have to do something.”
Administration is reviewing a variety of ideas for changing the dining area, according to Baker.
“We’ve been thinking of putting in an Italian section,” Baker said. “We might put [in] a sandwich shop there, or it could be a Mexican food station, like a Baja cafe. Some colleges have Subways right in the food service area.”
When Baker worked as a catering manager for the University of Oregon’s food service in Eugene, there were facilities for local providers to serve food.
“They had 10 different outside groups coming in with food,” Baker said.
The current game room in the campus center could be turned into a “grab and go” area, according to Gordon Price, director of Student Life. In this plan, all the prepackaged salads and sandwiches in the cafeteria service area would be moved out to make room for more kitchens or another counter.
Whatever the changes, work will most likely be finished in summer of 2014. Work needs to be done during a “slow time,” according to Price.
Even when the changes are made, however, the cafeteria will no longer be the only place for residence students to eat: The new residence hall comes with new community kitchens. The kitchens will be used for programming, for events in the residence hall, and for student use, according to Wheeler.
“Culinary students will be able to access that kitchen for use in studies,” Wheeler said. “They can’t access the culinary institute at all times, so they’ll be able to use it to practice and to study.”
This will also give students an option, at least, of not relying on cafeteria food.
“Maybe the kids will want to make their own stuff,” Baker said. “But maybe not. You throw in having to do dishes, and it can put a damper on the college experience.”