SCF Bradenton approves food service area upgrade

eearl@bradenton.comJanuary 22, 2014 

MANATEE -- The State College of Florida Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to renovate the food service area at the Bradenton campus.

Chris Wellman, SCF facilities management director, said the food service area inside the student union needs a facelift.

Wellman said the building is more than 12 years old, has outdated equipment and its design is "confusing."

"It does not meet student expectations," Wellman said.

Renovation will occur over the summer. It is expected to open this fall.

Final cost for the project is unknown as yet. The first step is starting the design and planning process.

Wellman said the plan is to use Harvard Jolly, an architectural firm based in St. Petersburg, and its food consultants for the design. The next step will be for contrac

tors to bid the renovation job based on the design.

Board members agreed the new layout will be more functional with better flow, new signage and menu boards.

The decision to update the food service area follows a student union renovation, which included the dining area, "Club Hub" and public safety and security offices.

The new student union areas include video gaming stations, pingpong and pool tables.

Board Chairman Craig Trigueiro said students have shown favor for the new student union features, but there have been complaints about the hours it is open in the afternoon. Vending machines are available all day, but the food service area closes between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., which is what students have complained about, he said.

The food service area is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The board has talked about extending operating hours, but has concerns about added personnel costs.

Board members suggested keeping a self-service line open with one cashier. Other suggestions included using student volunteers to cash out their classmates during the afternoon hours the service is now unavailable.

The board did not decide Tuesday about adding the extra hours.

"We will look at all scenarios for how we can provide service," State College of Florida President Carol Probstfeld said.

In May, the State College of Florida approved construction of a new $7.1 million academic building. Construction work for the new 36,000-square-foot building, which will replace an outdated social science building, began in December.

The State College of Florida is also requesting $17.6 million in seed funding from the Legislature for a new library.

Erica Earl, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.

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