Dining Hall’s new modern look is a big hit

     After an approximate $2 million renovation project, students are more than excited to dine in the campus cafeteria.

     The FAMU dining hall in the Student Services Center on Wahnish Way opened its doors on August 16. The construction started in May and was completed after two months.

      The improved cafeteria includes more food selections for students according to Michael Smith, director of business and auxiliary services.

     “It has pizza cooked to order when you come in and everything is fresh,” Smith said.

     “We also have an international station, deli bar, salad bar, vegetable bar and vegan bar.”

     When returning students walked into the renovated cafeteria, they were amazed at the diverse selection of food and vibrant interior colors.

     Monique Wilkes, 20, a third-year business student from Jacksonville said: “The food is tremendously better. Coming from my freshman year I definitely like the renovation and how it’s decorated and the color scheme.”

     The cafeteria’s $2 million transformation includes a lounge area for students to eat and study. The project was designed and funded through the investment of Sodexho, Inc., an integrated food and management services company.

     “We have more of a restaurant feel,” said John Rose, in charge of meal plans in the cafeteria. “We wanted the students’ dining to be the best on the planet, so we made it more efficient and added different features.”

     The cafeteria has an international station where a chef cooks the food in front of students. The new healthy bar caters to individuals who are striving to eat healthier meals.

     Although students are thrilled to have an updated cafeteria that includes new ceramic tile, bar tables and soft lighting fixtures, there are still obstacles that students have encountered while in the cafeteria.

     Some students are noticing the renovations have not eased the waiting time to get food.

     Darius Baker, 18, a first-year engineering student from Atlanta said: “It’s never any ice (in the automated icemaker) and the lines are too long.”

     In addition to the diverse food options, students have found another aspect of the cafeteria renovation to praise.

     “The staff is nice; they start a conversation and try to be friendly before serving,” Baker said.