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Renovations underway at Virginia Tech's award-winning dining hall West End Market


   

An architect's rendering of the exterior building renovation An architect's rendering of the exterior addition to favorite campus dining hall West End Market


BLACKSBURG, Va., April 26, 2011 – Virginia Tech students know that West End Market dining hall can get a little crowded. To improve service and increase capacity during meal times, West End Market is undergoing renovations for expansion.

An additional 100 interior seats and 30 patio seats will be added to increase dining capacity. The glass wall along the side of the restaurant facing Ambler Johnston Hall will be moved out by 18 feet to make room for the additional seating. The kitchen, production, and dry storage areas will be expanded and improved, and an additional walk-in cooler and freezer will be added to reduce transportation back and forth to the Fighting Gobbler Sports Lounge. Brand new public restrooms will be added, as well as a locker room for employees.

The dining center will remain fully operational during the renovations in order to provide continuous service to dining customers.

The renovations are considered a green decision, as the additional seating will decrease the need for to-go containers, which students often use to avoid the difficulty of finding a seat during busy times. Expanding the loading dock will allow West End Market to join Dining Services’ food-waste composting program, and a special grease collection space will allow grease to be recycled as biodiesel fuel.

The renovations will provide nearly 4,200 square feet of additional operations space for employees, a welcome improvement for the popular dining center.

“When West End Market went online in 1999, it was expected and designed to be a five-day-a-week operation and serve around 2,000 guests per day,” said Stephen Garnett, assistant director of Dining Services at West End Market. “We are currently serving nearly four times that amount, and have since then converted into a seven-day-a-week operation.”

The cost of the project is currently projected at $7.3 million. Contractors will continue renovations after West End Market closes at the end of the spring semester and the project will be largely completed by fall break. The restaurant will resume normal operation when fall semester starts in mid-August, despite ongoing renovations.

“Dining Services looks forward to these expansions, as they will allow us to provide better and more comprehensive service to our students once everything is complete,” said Ted Faulkner, senior associate director of Dining Services.

For more information about the other sustainable dining efforts, visit the Farms and Fields: Sustainability in Virginia Tech’s Dining Services website. Virginia Tech Dining Services is a department within the Division of Student Affairs.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Written by Stephanie Paradiso of Rockville, Md., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.