Another North Dakota State dining center is poised to grow.
A project to expand the Residence Dining Center eastward onto the green space near South Weible will break ground in March. Tentatively, the project will be completed by January 2017.
The RDC’s expansion comes months after the Union Dining Center grew by 90 seats in another expansion project that also added a conference room to the Memorial Union’s Upper Level.
Michael Harwood, assistant dean of student life, said the RDC expansion will add 200 seats to NDSU’s largest dining center, which now seats 425. Expanding the RDC will alleviate rushes of students at peak mealtimes and offer more space as the only dining center open on weekends.
“We are serving over about 1,000 students for lunch,” Harwood said, adding, “we want students to dine with the students they want to dine with … We really find (lunch and dinner are) the only time they can catch time together.”
Plans to expand NDSU’s dining centers have been “in the works … the last four years,” Harwood said, adding the UDC was an early priority with increased lines and just 300 seats.
Traffic from the STEM building has also increased demand at the UDC, Harwood said. The increased seating also brings a few opportunities like offering more food cooked to order.
“Students are wanting fresher food, definitely, and also there are more dietary needs that need to be met for students,” Harwood said.
The West Dining Center is also set to undergo an expansion in the next five years.
The 400-seat dining center located near the high rise residence halls offers a late night option for dining in staying open until 10:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday. West also sees increased lines at lunch and dinnertime.
Harwood added dining services serves over 7,000 meals a day at its three dining centers.
“We’re always thinking ahead, planning ahead,” Harwood said.
The RDC expansion east toward South Weible will take out current green space, and Harwood said he has heard no grumblings about losing lawn.
“There didn’t seem to be any concern at this point,” he said. “I don’t see a whole lot of students out in that space in the spring and fall … They use the volleyball court more than that green space.”