During meal equiv hours, the Library Café is swarmed with students. Some are willing to wait up to a half-hour in line to order their caffeinated concoctions and then another 10 minutes or so for them to be made, just to get their $7 worth. Even still, students withstand the discouraging lines in the Café every day.
The College took note of this issue and recently renovated the Library Café in the hopes of alleviating the lengthy lines. Over the summer, the College began a project that was just completed, and the Café reopened on Monday, Sept. 23. Some students were disappointed that the Café was still under construction for the first few weeks of school, but the College tried to move the project along quickly.
“The original schedule was very aggressive, and while we realized it was unlikely to be completed by the start of the school year, it was decided that it was better to open a few weeks into the semester than to postpone renovations for a year,” said Stacy Schuster, associate VP for College Relations.
Funded by Sodexo, the renovations cost $498,571. New changes included two queue lines and two registers as well as a turbo oven that will also allow for a wider variety of products such as breakfast sandwiches.
“Long lines form at the Library Cafe and with the old design, the speed of service could not be increased,” Schuster said. “The new design allows for double queuing and double production of the most popular items.”
Since its grand opening in fall 2005, the Library Café had not been updated until this year.
While the Library Café was surely missed by students during the first weeks of school, it is open for business and students have expressed their opinions about the changes.
Some freshmen who were not here previous years to experience the Library Café pre-renovations seem to agree that it is a nice addition to the College.
“It’s a Starbucks and I love Starbucks,” freshman nursing major Gretchen Heller said.
“It’s awesome. Everything gets crowded, especially during meal equiv, and you can’t really change that,” freshman interactive multimedia major Chris Lundy said.
A few students who were here last year were disappointed with the changes and had been expecting a bit more.
“It doesn’t look like they spent $500,000,” said sophomore elementary education and English double major Megan Bordonaro. “It’s nice, but not that much different.”
“I would have done it differently,” sophomore health and exercise science major Kaitlyn Ogg said.
Both students agreed that they would have liked to see more variety in the products and have both registers open as well. Only one register was open when Bordonaro and Ogg were at the Library Café during meal equiv on Sunday, Oct. 6, despite the long queue line.
On Monday, typically a busier day for meal equiv, students were pleased to see both registers open.
“I definitely like the open two cash registers,” said sophomore international studies and economics double major Jimmy Jasamuzchett. “But at the same time the workers might get overwhelmed.”
Cara Bramander, sophomore sociology major, agreed that the two line system seems to help alleviate the traffic, but noted that there also seems to be more workers behind the counter.
Although the Café has not been open long, the College said it is pleased with the renovations so far.
“We will continue to evaluate the success of the renovation over time to see if it has achieved the project goals,” Schuster said.