New dining hall proposed on campus

Food, glorious food!

Food, glorious food!

Project aims to improve experience for resident students

The University of Regina is considering a new building on campus, which will serve as a dining hall and multipurpose facility.

The idea came up during consultations for the Campus Master Plan.

“We thought it was something worth doing. We put out a request for proposals,” says Costa Maragos, spokesperson for the University of Regina.

“We’re looking at — there’s no money on the table we’re just looking at — a three-story multi-purpose building that would house a dining hall, but also accommodate the growing nursing program, English as a second language, and a bookstore,” said Maragos. The building is necessary to “accommodate the growing needs of the University. We’re always looking at ideas and looking down the road at possibilities.”

Maragos also noted that the dining hall would help to enhance the food offerings for students and all those who dine on campus. Students living in dorms without a kitchen are currently required to buy meal plans from the University at a minimum annual cost of $2,460. The University hopes that providing more options to resident students will improve and enhance their experiences with Food Services.

“We’re open to all ideas … we certainly will be looking at something that we hope will accommodate the changing tastes that students have,” says Maragos.

The location of the hall will depend on who submits the proposal, but Maragos says some obvious potential sites for the project include the north side of the Kinesiology building, or next to Campion and Luther College (which could help connect the buildings to the rest of campus). He also noted the University is “open to any and all ideas” proposed to them.

There have been concerns raised about the University undertaking new capital projects while deferred maintenance remains a large concern.

“That’s a valid point,” says Maragos. “On anything we do here, it’s something that we should be talking about. What I’ve seen at the University is, it’s a balancing act. You’re trying to deal with issues like that, like leaky roofs for example, and then looking ahead to try and enhance the student experience.”

“But we are fixing things; since 2013, six roofs have been replaced. We’re looking at another roof replacement over at the Language Institute … we’ve invested eight million dollars in the past few years… We’re dealing with those deferred maintenance issues as best we can while still looking ahead.”

“There’s no money on the table yet [for the dining hall project]” says Maragos. “Once we get some ideas, we’ll talk about it, so we’ll see.”

Maragos also noted that the recent clawing back of provincial funding will not affect the future growth of the U of R campus.

There is currently no timeline for the construction of the dining hall project, but there is a firm deadline on proposals. Contractors will have until Dec. 2 of this year to submit proposals for the University’s consideration.

The University is also accepting proposals for a renovation of College West.

“It’s all about the students staying on campus, and making sure they are as comfortable as possible,” says Maragos.

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