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Dining option changes delayed

Published: Monday, January 7, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 7, 2013 12:01

Following a proposal by Aramark Dining Services to change dining options on campus, delays in construction postponed the opening of a Pollo Tropical in Sessums Mall near Cooper Hall, and a Panda Express and Papa John’s in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) food court.

In October, Jeff Mack, assistant vice president for Campus Business Services, who worked with a committee to assess campus feedback on the changes, said to The Oracle that the changes could be ready in the MSC Food Court for the start of the spring semester and Pollo Tropical could be ready by the summer, pending results of a student survey. 

Jenna Engel, marketing manager for Aramark Dining Services, said the Burger King is now permanently closed, and progress on the other dining options will begin shortly.

“The Pollo Tropical construction will begin in early January,” Engel said in an emailed statement to The Oracle. “The Papa John’s and Panda Express construction has not yet begun. Tentative opening for these locations is early spring semester.” 

In an email to The Oracle, Sujit Chemburkar, director for the MSC said the “hold up with the MSC Food Court renovation is mainly due to Panda Express in that the quote for FF&E (furniture, fixture and equipment) items is not complete because of holiday break.”

The student survey, which was completed in October, consisted of 1,385 students and indicated that a majority of students were satisfied or highly satisfied with the proposed changes. 

Chemburkar said the changes were discussed at a meeting Friday afternoon, and another meeting will be held this Friday to determine the phases of construction with USF Facilities Planning and general contractors. 

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