After five years of planning, Virginia Tech has broken ground on Turner Place at Lavery Hall, a major dining center located on the academic side of campus. The new and modern facility, under construction behind McBryde Hall on Old Turner Street, will offer a convenient location for students traveling between classes, faculty and staff members, and students commuting from off campus.
The new Dining Services facility will begin serving the university in the fall of 2012 and will house two levels of eight individual restaurants. The restaurants in the new Turner Place will focus on the specific needs of commuters and academic staff, including a wide variety of quick breakfast and lunch options. It will feature national brand franchises Jamba Juice, Qdoba, and Bruegger’s Bagels alongside original concepts, and its menus will emphasize convenient, healthy choices.
In addition to the franchises, Turner Place will house original concepts created by Dining Services. These venues include an Italian-inspired pizza and pasta restaurant; an upscale chophouse with a unique wood-burning grill; a Japanese-style steakhouse with several teppanyaki grills; a large grab-and-go venue offering prepackaged sandwiches and salads; an espresso bar; a gelato bar; and a crêpe station.
Architect's renderings and details about the new dining center can be found on the Turner Place website.
The Turner Place venue will seat approximately 700, including a large separate dining room for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. The cadets will use the dining room to support leadership training programs during meals once their primary dining facility in Shultz Hall is closed to make way for the university’s new Center for the Arts.
“Our campus has grown accustomed to extraordinary dining, and this new venture will certainly add to this tradition of excellence,” said Frank Shushok, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “In addition to great food, Turner Place will bring together faculty, staff, and students around the dining table, strengthening our community of friendship and learning and energizing campus life in the academic corridor.”
Most of the existing dining centers are scattered on the south side of campus near the residence halls. However, as the popularity of the dining program has grown, there has been an increasing need for a Dining Services location on the academic side of campus to serve students, faculty, and staff members as they work and attend classes.
Turner Place was designed specifically to meet students’ needs using feedback from surveys, a departmental student advisory committee, Table Talk Live programs in the campus dining centers, and collaboration with the Student Government Association.
“We feel like we’ve incorporated a lot of what the students ask for and kind of pushed the limits on some new and exciting things that we don’t offer anywhere else in dining,” said Ted Faulkner, associate director of Dining Services.
Written by Rachel DeLauder and Stephanie Paradiso, of Rockville Md., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.