Collis Cafe begins renovations

by Anthony Lafontant | 1/7/13 11:00pm

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by Cecelia Shao and Cecelia Shao / The Dartmouth

All of Collis Cafe's regular food options will be available in the temporary serving space, but food will be pre-prepared in the kitchen on the basement floor rather than cooked in front of students, Director of Dining Services Dave Newlove said.

Collis Cafe will also maintain its usual operating hours.

"Construction workers were working throughout the December break and even on some weekends to make sure that when classes started on Jan. 7, the cafe was ready to go," Ramsey said.

The renovated Collis Cafe is scheduled to open in the beginning of Spring term, Newlove said.

The new cafe will expand the serving area to the east wall of the building, which was previously occupied by chairs and tables. Square tables will replace the round ones in order to increase seating space. Student representatives met with architects during the design process and chose all of the new furnishings, Ramsey said.

The second and third floors of Collis are also being renovated and will house many student organizations including Student Assembly, Class Council and Programming Board, Ramsey said.

While the cafe is scheduled to open at the beginning of Spring term, the television lounge and Fuel are not expected to open until the middle of the term, Newlove said. Collis Common Ground and Collis 101 will also close for the first half of Spring for refurnishing and air conditioning installation, Newlove said.

Student organizations that host events in Collis spaces, including Fuel and Collis Common Ground, will be re-directed to other locations such as the newly opened Sarner Underground with the help of Collis employees, Ramsey said.

The College chose to renovate during the Winter term because it typically has the lowest enrollment, Newlove said. Although the renovation may be disruptive to some students, it is necessary to reduce traffic and keep Collis comfortable during particularly hot or cold weather, Ramsey said.

"There is a recognition that the Collis Center plays a critical role in student life, but it has been 20 years since it has had some sort of renovation," he said.

Collis employees interviewed by The Dartmouth are looking forward to the renovations, including the more spacious layout of the new food service area.

Despite not being able to cook in Collis 101, members of the staff said the change has not negatively affected them.

"We haven't been affected that much," Debra Harlow said. "Work has been pretty much the same."