Students will no longer have to worry about where to go for lunch as the construction in Atwood is coming to a close. Starting this week the area will be available for students to use.

The area not only has new walls, but new floors, paint, and newer chairs and tables. Chartwells has worked closely with the university in the past year to accommodate a growing student body while maintaining what students have come to love about Atwood. Students can expect new restaurants like Denny’s, Chick-Fil-A, and Erbert & Gerberts. While everyone is excited for the additions, the old favorites like Caribou coffee, and Einsteins Bagels will be sticking around with an shiny new upgrade.

The space has been carved out to allow more student interaction. By adding sturdier chairs and tables students will no longer have to take their meals to go.The Caribou that once took up the far corner of the building has been moved so that no one will have to fight for a window seat. The open area is user-friendly, so students can stay and hang out before going to class.

Atwood Interim Director Matt Trombly believes the  student body will enjoy the updates to the center. He looks forward to seeing more students spend more time in the center.

“Atwood has always been a busy place, and now students can actually spend time without feeling like they’re being pushed out,” Trombley said.

The common areas will begin to open for student use on Sept. 21. This week students will be able to cut through the center on their way to class-a welcome change as the weather starts to get colder. The restaurants on the main floor will open a few days after on Sept. 26. The only thing that students will have to be patient for is the Den by Denny’s. Trombley says the downstairs hallways and seating is scheduled for a firm Oct. 10, and the actual restaurant will be opening on Oct. 17. While these schedules dates are firm, construction can take longer so Trombley asks that students be patient.

Students don’t have to go hungry while they wait, as food trucks have been provided outside of Atwood. Chartwells knew that students would need to eat, even during construction, so the company took a close look at what restaurants were already offered and based their food truck choices on what students preferred.

“We’re a very diverse campus, so Chartwells and the school board knew that we would need a diverse choice while construction was happening,” Trombley said. “We’ve really tried to get what everyone wanted-coffee, burgers-all of that so students won’t feel like they’re missing out while we’re working.”

This hands-on look towards food won’t stop when the construction is done. After the walls have come down Chartwells plans on taking opening week to listen to students’ concerns and working on improvements. So, Trombley encourages students to voice their opinions of the restaurants and layout.

“We are always concerned about what students want and need in order to succeed,” Trombley said. “Student needs are always changing, so we need to change with them.”

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