One of the only places for commuter students to eat, converse and study will be gone next week.
Crossroads, in the SAC, will officially close on Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. as part of the ongoing renovations. It will not re-open until fall 2001.
“This is a temporary inconvenience in preparation for permanent changes,” said Dean of Students James Fitzsimmons.
Beginning this January, students will be forced to use other eating and lounging options on Temple’s campus, none of which will see their hours extended. Another problem is the use of Diamond Dollars, Temple’s declining balance system for purchases. The Diamond Dollars office is attempting to expand the use of the system to other places- Crossroads was a popular place for student’s to use their Diamond Dollars.
One of these places is the Owl Cove. The Owl Cove is a little known Temple-run eatery in Mitten Hall that serves food from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for cash, and offers a wide screen TV. Temple is hoping that the Owl Cove will accept Diamond Dollars by the spring semester but, as of now, it doesn’t.
Located in the basement of Tuttleman Hall is Freshbytes café. Sandwiches and other food are available there Mon. through Thurs. from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Fri. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Freshbytes does accept Diamond dollars.
The deli that now resides in the Crossroads is being moved to Gladfelter Hall, but an exact location has not been determined. There is a possibility that it will be placed in the main entrance.
Other options for students to buy food are the street vendors and those located in the building outside of Anderson Hall. Only three of these vendors- Fame’s Famous Pizza, Eddie’s Pizza and Munchmobile- accept Diamond Dollars.
“Some of the other vendors aren’t ready to come on,” said Melvin Rich of Cash Operations. “We expect them to come on later on.”
The problem with places to eat has come up because of the renovations to the SAC. The first phase of the $30 million renovation, which started this summer and threw the daily activities of students into disarray, continues to put the pinch on students looking for places to eat and study with friends.
“We truly appreciate everyone’s patience with the current SAC renovations, and are trying to accommodate all students,” said Director of Student Activities Kenneth Bonk.
Many students returned to campus in September only to find out that one of their favorite hangouts was enclosed by huge red fences with signs of ongoing construction all around the building, leaving many students wondering what was going on.
What they are doing is renovating the SAC to accommodate the needs of the students, faculty and staff of Temple. Once the first phase of the project is completed, the SAC will offer more space for students to enjoy their time outside of classes.
The main renovation is the creation of a 700-seat food court to accommodate the additional students that will be living in the new 1,000-bed residence hall scheduled to open in fall 2001 along with the existing residents on campus.
The new food court will be divided into three sections. One section will resemble the Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria. Another section will resemble the Grab-n-Go at Johnson & Hardwick. This grocery store will also have a coffee shop that will feature all types of coffee, espresso and cappuccino. The third section of the new food court will resemble the original SAC with Burger King and other fast food restaurants.
Students will be able to use their Diamond Dollars at all of the sections of the food court.
The renovations include an additional 12,000 sq. ft to the current lounge space and renovating 35,000 sq. ft of existing space to accommodate the needs of commuter students who need a place to go between classes. By adding the extra lounge space this will allow students to remain on campus longer by giving them somewhere to hang out.
“We wanted to create a more welcoming and inviting atmosphere for the students, so that they will have a place to hang out and socialize,” Bonk said.
Along with the food court and the lounge space, the SAC will also have a new atrium. Within the atrium will be additional seating for about 100 students that will look out at the street.
“I hope that the SAC will become a true campus center for students, faculty and staff, in addition to better addressing the needs of the commuter students,” said Fitzsimmons of the renovations.
The money for the project will come from Temple along with some support from the participating vendors.