One of Vice President for Business Affairs Allen Wedel’s ’69 favorite sayings is "It’s a great time to be at Bethel College."
He has had plenty of reason to say it in the past year, thanks to multiple improvements to campus facilities, one of his major areas of responsibility - most recently regarding the cafeteria.
As Aladdin Food Service’s contract was coming to an end last spring, a committee of staff, administrators and students entertained bids from seven vendors, including Aladdin - all of whom had to make major cafeteria renovations part of their proposal....
When students return in late August, the furniture will be new, as will the flooring, Wedel said. Colors will be "brighter and bolder," and coordinated with Bethel’s official color palette. The dish return will be a conveyor belt system - "no more 30-gallon trash cans," Wedel said.
There will be new serving lines. The salad bar will be double-sided, portable and placed in the middle, instead of on a side wall as in the past. The drink machines will be moved to the side, with the walls behind them knocked out to further open the space.
"A lot of the remodeling is moving food prep out front," Wedel continued. "There will be ’Show-Time,’ [periodic cooking of special items] and a regular ’Grill Works’ for pizzas, burgers and omelets. There will be a ’Homestyle’ area for comfort food, and an expanded vegetarian menu."
The chef from Maharishi University, an all-vegetarian campus in Fairfield, Iowa, will be working with Bethel’s chef to develop more vegetarian options.
"It’s going to be more of a food court concept," Wedel said.
Bethel’s steadily increasing enrollment over the past several years has raised some space issues, especially on Mondays and Fridays after convocation when a critical mass of students goes to lunch at the same time.
Wedel said the hope is that adding serving platforms will help ease congestion. In addition, the three conference/seminar rooms divided from the north end of the cafeteria by accordion curtains will be done away with - remodeled to fit into the rest of the space for added seating capacity.
Though the cafeteria is by far the major piece of renovation being done in Schultz Student Center, it’s not all.
The hallways will get new carpeting and wall coverings, new lighting and new signs. A digital announcement screen will replace the white board outside the cafeteria entrance, among numerous other additions and improvements....
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