Dining changes welcome students back for spring semester

The new Hot Spot and Sprouts in the former Original Burger location.
The new Hot Spot and Sprouts in the former Original Burger location.

The initial phases of Mason’s update to its dining facilities are starting to appear around campus this semester. The biggest changes thus far have taken place in the Johnson Center. In preparation for further renovations, Hot Spot and Sprouts were moved to the Hub where Original Burger was previously located. Original Burger was permanently closed.

Freshens is closed temporarily. In the upcoming months, construction will begin on a new convenience store located where Hot Spot, Sprouts and Freshens previously operated. Once completed, Freshens will re-open inside the store.

Additional seating will be added to this area as well. This Construction is expected to begin mid-February. It is expected that the new store and seating areas will be completed in April.

According to Mark Kraner, executive director of campus retail operations, feedback thus far on the transfer of Hot Spot and Sprouts from the JC to the Hub have been positive.

This has opened up some more space in the JC, taking away the crowds that form at these locations and alleviating the congestion in the building.

Plans are also underway to begin construction on the computer store. This space will be converted into a Panera café, and the computer store will move to the back of the JC.

Construction on Panera will begin June 1 and is scheduled to open on Aug. 15.

Over the summer, Jazzman’s Cafe will be converted into a second Starbucks and the Bistro will receive renovations.

Ike’s is on target to reopen as a second dining hall this coming August.

Within the next two weeks, construction should conclude on Manhattan Pizza in University Hall next to the UPS store.

Currently, the university is also reviewing the possibility of renovating space in the Mason Inn to a third dining hall, as part of the plan to convert the building into a combination of dining, housing and classroom space.

“Another renovation that was completed over break was [the construction] on the mail services area in the Hub has been completed with more windows to help provide faster service,” Kraner said.

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