By Todd Feathers, News Staff
Take The News poll about the new food court here.
After a summer of frenzied gutting and reconstruction, the renovated Curry Student Center has reopened its doors to a host of new eateries and appreciative students.
The renovations include new seating, a new information desk and the addition of Popeye’s Fried Chicken, Kigo Kitchen and locally based restaurants UBurger and Sweet Tomatoes Pizza. Taco Bell, The West End and On-the-Go still remain, while Pizza Hut and Wendy’s were removed.
University officials said they paid close attention to student feedback when considering possible designs and wanted to convert the old student center into a more comfortable space that offered more options.
“Everyone keeps saying that it feels like Northeastern and that was something students really demanded right from the beginning,” Maureen Timmons, director of Dining Services, said. “We collaborated closely with SGA and they said they wanted some new seating, local products, new food stuff – that kind of thing.”
Terry MacCormack, Student Government Association vice-president for student services, said he believes the new design offers the campus feel that students wanted.
“The new look and feel of the student center was a long time coming and it feels a lot more like campus now,” he said. “It was a huge and ambitious project to gut the entire floor and rebuild it in a summer, so we were really impressed.”
The new space is decked out in red and black, which MacCormack said was to add a touch of Northeastern spirit. The old seating area remains, with new tables and chairs, and a 160-seat mezzanine was built on the second floor.
“I like it a lot. There’s a lot more variety, it’s a lot more welcoming and there’s a lot more people here,” Chiara Pacini, a senior biochemistry major, said.
Even with the expanded space, the introduction of new restaurants has attracted so many students that finding an open table during lunch time can prove a difficult task.
“Students love the new food options; we’ve received such amazing feedback from students,” said Timmons, adding that the university tried to provide a diverse selection of affordable food.
As classes let out just before noon on Tuesday, foot traffic in the Snell Library quad was almost at a standstill as students pushed their way in and out of Curry. Inside, people with trays of food held over their head navigated their way through a maze of tables and outstretched legs while others queued in long lines to place their orders.
“I come here every day now because it’s a nice place to sit and eat and relax,” Adam Armstrong, a sophomore biology major, said. “It’s brighter, more welcoming.”
Not all the changes are easy to spot, however. MacCormack said the trash disposal and recycling options have also been upgraded and that beverages served at the restaurants were chosen by a student poll.
“I’ve heard great things from students,” MacCormack said. I’ve heard that the restaurants are good and that it’s great that we have a mezzanine to open it up and students just have more space.”