Mason dining signs new contract with Sodexo

Sodexo has been with Mason since 1988
Sodexo has been with Mason since 1988

Mason Dining signed a new contract with Sodexo this week to replace the old one that was to expire in 2014. The $400 million contract will be in place for 10 years. The new contract will implement many changes across campus.

“The spring will be exciting as the program starts,” said Mark Kraner, executive director of Campus Retail and Auxiliary Enterprises.

The dining team has scheduled renovations to begin during winter break of this year. The east side of the Johnson Center, where the computer store, Freshens, Hot Spot and Sprouts are currently located, will be the first to undergo renovations.

Some of this area will be converted into more seating options to accommodate the large crowds of people that gather in the Johnson Center during the day. Freshens and Hot Spot will close, and Sprouts will move temporarily across the building to the Simply to Go kiosk.

Construction to convert the computer store into Panera Bread will also start during the break. Panera is scheduled to open in fall of 2014.

There are tentative plans to create an outdoor seating patio outside of Panera.

Eventually, a new convenience store will also be added to the east side while the current store on the west side will be under renovations.

Winter break renovations will also take place on the bottom level of the Johnson Center. Jazzman’s coffee shop, currently located on the bottom level, will be converted into a Starbucks. 

What used to be Ike’s in Presidents Park is also under renovation to be turned into a Southside-style dining hall seating 375 people.

These renovations will continue into the spring semester and are projected for completion by the fall.

Further renovations are planned for 2015. These include renovating the dining options on the west side of the Johnson Center and adding another outdoor patio.

“This is the 18 month forecast. Additional places may morph over the years,” Kraner said.

Mason picked Sodexo as their continued dining provider after a long process. Mason went through a competitive bid process in the spring, after which they ultimately chose Sodexo over the other options.

“Sodexo listened to students, proposed helpful suggestions and overall offered a better retail program and financial package,” Kraner said.

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